Radishes are crisp, colorful and delicious. When served raw or added to salads, radishes add a burst of bold, peppery flavor. The beauty of planting radishes is twofold: They mature in about 25 days and you can grow them in both spring and fall. Radishes are a low-calorie food that is a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants.
They help detoxify your blood, prevent cancer, purify your kidneys and urinary system and regulate your blood pressure. If you are looking for a fast-growing vegetable to add color and a flavorful zing to salads and other dishes, you may be interested in learning more about how to grow radishes.
Where Did Radishes Come From?
Radishes (Raphanus sativus) are a member of the cabbage or brassicas family, also known as cruciferous vegetables. Some of the close relatives of radishes are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. WebMD shares a few fun facts about radishes:1
The scientific name for the genus that includes radishes, Raphanus, is Greek for "quickly appearing"
Although radishes are grown throughout the U.S., California and Florida grow the most
Radishes were first cultivated in China, and spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere and into Europe in the 1500s
Today, radishes are cultivated and consumed around the world. They are most often served raw, commonly appearing on salads and vegetable trays. Radishes vary in color, flavor, size and time to maturity. The sharp flavor of radishes is the result of chemical compounds produced by the plants, including glucosinolate, isothiocyanate and myrosinase.
In addition to being grown for eating, radishes are also used as a cover crop in winter or as forage for grazing animals. Some varieties, such as daikon, are grown for seed, and still others for sprouting.
Common Radish Varieties
Although there are many varieties from which to choose, a few of the most common types of radishes include the following:2
• Cherry Belle is the round, red radish commonly found at your local supermarket
• Daikon Long White is a huge radish measuring up to 3 inches in diameter and 18 inches long
• French Breakfast is a mild, extra-crunchy radish that is good raw or cooked, and has a slightly pungent taste
• Rat Tail3 is a tasty, edible podded radish grown for its crunchy, tangy seed pods; this variety can tolerate hot weather, resists pests and never forms bulbs
• White Beauty is a small, round radish that is white inside and out, with a sweet, juicy flavor