Australia > All Weeds > Wild Radish

Wild Radish

Raphanus raphanistrum

Origin: Native to Mediterranean region.


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Foraging for Wild radish, western Sydney

Family: Brassicaceae.

Known Hazards: None known.

Habitat: Woods and scrub in dry rocky places.

Edibility Rating: 2 (1-5)

Medicinal Rating: 1 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics: Erect annual, or less often biennial, herb to 1 (rarely to 1.5 m) high. Leaves variable, with bristle-like hairs; basal leaves to about 30 cm long, lobed with terminal lobe much larger than lower lobes; upper leaves shorter and highest leaves often undivided. Fruit with up to 12 seeds. Seeds ovoid to globe-shaped, to 3 mm long, net-like veins on surface, red to yellow-brown. Taproot wiry to over 1 m deep; laterals roots fibrous.
Flowers: In branched racemes. Flowers late winter to summer.The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by heart-shaped first leaves (cotyledons) on seedlings; white to yellow or mauve petals often violet-veined, sometimes veins indistinct. Fruit to 9 cm long (including beak), and strongly constricted between seeds, breaking into 1-seeded ribbed units at maturity. Stems with bristle-like hairs.

Dispersal: Seed spread by animals, wind and water. Mostly spread by agricultural products containing the seed.

Edible Uses

Flowers; Leaves; Seed; Seedpod. Young leaves - raw or cooked. A somewhat hot taste, they are finely cut and added to salads or used as a potherb. It is best to use just the young leaves in spring, older leaves soon become bitter. Seed - raw or cooked. A very pungent flavour, the seed can be ground into a powder and made into a paste when it is an excellent substitute for mustard. The sprouted seeds have a somewhat hot spicy flavour and are a tasty addition to salads. Flowers - raw. A nice addition to salads. The flower buds are used as a broccoli substitute, they should be lightly steamed for no more than 5 minutes. Young seedpods - raw. Crisp and juicy, they must be eaten when young because they quickly become tough and fibrous. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses


Other Uses

None known


Flower by Anita Gould

Growth habit by Dawn Endico


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