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Toxic parts

The Japanese radishes have higher concentrations of glucosinolate, a substance that acts against the thyroid gland. It is probably best to remove the skin[8].

Edible uses


Raphanus sativa is most famously grown for it's large edible root but the seeds, flowers and young leaves and seedpods are also often eaten or added to dishes to impart some spice.



Raw, Cooked as a Vegetable, Green, Salad


Raw, Sprouted as a Snack, Salad, Sprout


Raw, Cooked as a Vegetable, Salad


Raw as a Vegetable, Salad, Snack

Material uses

The growing plant repels beetles from tomatoes and cucumbers[9][10]. It is also useful for repelling various other insect pests such as carrot root fly[10]. There is a fodder variety that grows more vigorously and is used as a green manure[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Radishes have long been grown as a food crop, but they also have various medicinal actions. The roots stimulate the appetite and digestion, having a tonic and laxative effect upon the intestines and indirectly stimulating the flow of bile[12]. Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action[12]. The plant is used in the treatment of intestinal parasites, though the part of the plant used is not specified[13]. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints[14]. The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative[15]. The seed is carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic[16][14][15]. It is taken internally in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal bloating, wind, acid regurgitation, diarrhoea and bronchitis[17]. The root is antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive and diuretic[18][14]. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet[14]. Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions[19]. The root is best harvested before the plant flowers[18]. Its use is not recommended if the stomach or intestines are inflamed[18]. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal[14][17]. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, streptococci, Pneumococci etc[16]. The plant also shows anti-tumour activity[14].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Green manure

The fast growing leaves can make a quick growing green manure crop.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow outdoors in situ in succession from late winter to the middle of summer. Germination takes place within a few days of sowing the seed. If you want a constant supply of the roots then you need to sow seed every 2 - 3 weeks.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Raphanus sativus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Very easily cultivated fast-growing plants which prefer a rich light soil with ample moisture[20][4][21]. They dislike very heavy or acid soils[20][3]. Plants are susceptible to drought and require irrigation during dry spells in the summer or the root quality will rapidly deteriorate and the plant will go to seed. Radishes are widely cultivated for their edible roots. There are many named varieties[1] that are able to supply edible roots all year round. Over the centuries a number of distinct groups have evolved through cultivation, these have been classified by the botanists as follows. A separate entry has been made for each group:-

         R. sativus. The common radish. Fast maturing plants with small roots that can be round or cylindrical and usually have red skins. They are grown primarily for their roots which in some varieties can be ready within three weeks from sowing the seed and are used mainly in salads. These are mainly grown for spring, summer and autumn use and can produce a crop within a few weeks of sowing.
         R. sativus caudatus. The rat-tailed radishes. This group does not produce roots of good quality, it is cultivated mainly for the edible young seedpods which are harvested in the summer.
         R. sativus niger. The Oriental and Spanish radishes. These are grown for their larger edible root which can be round or cylindrical and can be available throughout the winter.
        R. sativus oleiformis. The fodder radishes. These are grown mainly for their leaves and oil-rich seeds, they are used as a green manure or stock feed though they can also be eaten by people. The roots of these plants soon become fibrous, though they make acceptable eating when young.

Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers[22][9]. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes[17]. They grow badly with hyssop[22][9] and with grape vines[10].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Raphanus sativus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Raphanus sativus.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Raphanus sativus
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    0.45 x 0.2
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    1. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
    2. ? Ken Fern Raphanus sativus Plants for a Future (2013/03/12)
    3. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (32202/01/01)
    4. ? Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (32202/01/01)
    5. ? RHS. The Garden. Volume 111. Royal Horticultural Society (32202/01/01)
    6. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (32202/01/01)
    7. ? Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (32202/01/01)
    8. ? Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. (2013/03/01)
    9. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (32202/01/01)
    10. ? Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (32202/01/01)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Woodward. L. Burge. P. Green Manures. Elm Farm Research Centre. (32202/01/01)
    12. ? Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (32202/01/01)
    13. ? 13.013.1 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X (2013/03/01)
    14. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (32202/01/01)
    15. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (32202/01/01)
    16. ? Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (32202/01/01)
    17. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (32202/01/01)
    18. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (32202/01/01)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (32202/01/01)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (32202/01/01)
    21. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Vegetables Macmillan Reference Books, London. ISBN 0 333 62640 0 (32202/01/01)
    22. ? 22.022.1 Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (32202/01/01)
    23. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)

    "image:Raphanus_sativus.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Raphanus sativus"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyBrassicaceae +
    Belongs to genusRaphanus +
    Functions asGreen manure +
    Has common nameRadish +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFlowers +, Leaves +, Seeds +, Root + and Seedpod +
    Has edible useUnknown use +, Vegetable +, Green +, Salad +, Oil +, Snack + and Sprout +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has imageRaphanus sativus.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useOil + and Repellent +
    Has mature height0.45 +
    Has mature width0.2 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnthelmintic +, Antibacterial +, Antifungal +, Antiscorbutic +, Antispasmodic +, Astringent +, Cancer +, Carminative +, Cholagogue +, Digestive +, Diuretic +, Expectorant +, Laxative +, Poultice + and Stomachic +
    Has primary imageRaphanus_sativus.jpg +
    Has search nameraphanus sativus + and x +
    Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
    Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceNeutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
    Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
    Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomy nameRaphanus sativus +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    Tolerates air pollutionNo +
    Tolerates maritime exposureNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Tolerates windNo +