Radish, or Raphanus, L. a genus of plants comprehending eight species, of which the following are the principal:
1. The Raphanistrum, White-flowered or Jointed Charlock, or Wild Radish, an indigenous annual plant, which abounds in corn-fieids, and flowers in the months of June and July.—It is eaten by horses, but refused by cows.—This species is a troublesome weed, and should be carefully extirpated, before it runs to seed it vegetates with great luxuriance, during wet seasons, amongst barley; and has, in Sweden, occasioned violent convulsive affections in those who ate bread made of that grain.
2. The sativus, Common, or Garden Radish, is an exotic species, originally from China, and which, is cultivated for the table. There are several varieties of it, known under the names of the small-topped, deep-red, pale-red, or salmon, and the long-topped striped Radishes 5 a 1 of which are annual plants ; but the small-topped is generally preferred in the vicinity of London, on account of the little room which it occupies in the ground.
All these varieties are propagated from seed, which is sown at various times, from Christmas till May, to ensure a succession of radishes for the table ; because they attain to perfection in the course of three months. The earlier crops ought to be sown in warm borders, sheltered from the severity of the winter ; but, for the later ones, a moist soil, and an open situation, should be selected.
Radishes are esteemed aperient, attenuating, and anti-scorbutic :— when eaten in moderate quantities, they are in a certain measure salubrious to persons of strong habits ; but are, in general, apt to produce a considerable degree of flatulency in those, whose stomachs are relaxed. The small-topped salad-radishes are greatly superior to the large root; as they are more easy of digestion, and tend to improve the appetite. No radishes, however, ought to be eaten when old, or after having been kept for some time ; as they are then utterly indigestible, and render the breath extremely offensive.