Radish (Raphanus sativus)

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a root vegetable in the family Brassicaceae, cultivated and consumed throughout the world. There are many varieties that are varying in size, color and length of cultivation time. The genus name Raphanus is derived from Greek work meaning 'quick appearing'. The word radish is derived from Latin word 'radix' meaning root.

Radishes can be categorized into four main types (spring, summer, fall and winter) that come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. There are red, pink, white, yellow, gray-black radishes. The roots are round or elongated.

Spring or summer radishes are sometimes being referred to as European or spring radishes. They are generally small and have a 3-4 weeks cultivation time.

Winter radishes are Black Spanish or Black Spanish Round, and occur in both round and elongated forms. They are sometimes known as black radish, and has a rough balck skin with hot-flavored white flesh, 10 cm in diameter.

There are some radishes grown for their seeds which are grown in pods or siliques. The seeds are edible and are usually added to salads for their crunchiness and spiciness. A variety, Rat-tailed radish, has long, thin, curly pods which can exceed 20 cm long.

The entire radish plant is edible, and the tops are used as a leaf vegetable. The bulb or root is usually eaten raw, or steamed. Raw radishes have a crisp texture and a peppery and pungent flavor. The spiciness is caused by glucosinolates and the enzyme myrosinase, which are also present in mustard, horseradish, and wasabi.

Radishes are rich in folic acid, ascorbic acid, and potassium. They are also a good source for vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin, copper and calcium.

Radish (Raphanus sativus)Radish (Raphanus sativus)
Author: Patrickov (public domain)

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