Types of Radishes

Classified by their shape or by their preferred growing season, radish varieties give the beginning gardener lots of flavor.
Mantanghong Chinese Radish has Unique Markings

Mantanghong Chinese Radish has Unique Markings

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

By: Nan Chase
Related To:

Botanical Names: Rhapanus sativus (table radishes), Rhapanus sativus var. longipinnatus (Daikon or Asian varieties), Rhapanus sativus var. caudatus (rat-tailed variety)

In growing radishes it helps to know that there are several main types, and that those types have slightly different growth habits, although all produce flavorful edible roots and nutritious greens. Radish varieties are often classified either by the seasons favored for planting (early, mid-season, late) or by the characteristics of the mature plant.

Radishes can be round, carrot-shaped, or thick and plump, depending on their type. They can be all white, red or pink on the outside and white inside, or unusual in their color combinations. Besides the familiar pink- or red-skinned radishes with white flesh there are all-white radishes, black-skinned radishes with white flesh, and radishes with yellow, pink, or green flesh.

The typical round pink radishes with tangy flavor are known as table radishes, as are some of the long, slender varieties. For the most part they are planted in early spring, from about April 1 through the middle of May. They grow extremely fast, and can often be harvested 20 to 30 days after seeds are planted. These radishes are usually classified in seed catalogs as Early or Spring radishes.

Since they grow best in cool soil they can also be planted in early fall as well – August through September – for a late crop. Examples of fast-growing radishes are Cherry Belle, Sparkler White Tip, and Rudolph.

Fewer varieties of radishes are classified as mid-season. Look for varieties that list a longer period to maturity, say 50 to 60 days, and types that can withstand more heat without becoming tough or bitter, which may be listed as “all season.” A hybrid called Celesta is considered slower to bolt; a variety called Easter Egg contains a mix of maturing periods and so has a longer harvest. Spanish Round, Watermelon, and China Rose all mature in 50 days or more.

Winter or so-called storage radishes mature much more slowly than the others, from 60 to 120 days. They can be planted in late summer or early autumn for harvest in late fall. Some black radishes fall into this category, as do a range of Asian radishes.

The Asian radishes, sometimes called daikon radishes, grow much larger than table radishes, and may weigh up to a pound a piece. The shapes is rounder, elongated, and plump. Their use for pickling as well as cooking makes them a valuable garden vegetable. Asian radish varieties generally take the longest to grow, so may be sown in summer for a fall harvest.

A most unusual radish variety is the rat-tailed radish, which is grown solely for its crunchy and versatile seed pods.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Types of Succulents

Succulent plants offer an incredible array of types, sizes, shapes, colors, flowers, fruits, garden uses, and temperature tolerances, coming from a wide range between tropical jungles, deserts, mountains, and extremely cold climates.

All About the Types of Paint and Finish

Learn what types of paints and finishes can be used on a variety of different surfaces.

Different Types of Exterior Siding and Cladding

Find out about the different types of home exteriors including brick, vinyl and wood siding.

All About the Different Types of Wood Finishes

Natural wood finishes enhance rather than cover the grain of the wood. Learn more about the different finishes to help you choose the right one for your home.

All About the Different Types of Drywall

Learn how to choose the right type of drywall to cover your walls or ceiling.

All About the Different Types of Nails

Learn which type of common and specialty nails work best with different kinds of materials.


Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.