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Radish [Raphanus sativus L. Daikon Group (= var. longipinnatus L. H. Bailey)]

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Wild relatives of assumed ancestry of cultivated radishes grow in Mediterranian to Near East region, though immediate origin is not determined.
Earliest record of utilization was in Egypt (BC2700). Radishes proceeded toward east through several pathway, with secondary development in several locations, and established as old natives through temperate area from Europa to Japan.
Though their variation is continuous, European and Asian group can be recognized, and the latter can be divided into North Chinese group in cool, dry area and South Chinese group in warm, wetarea. Japanese radish (Daikon) basically belongs to South Chinese group, but with unique characteristics.
Radishes have non-splitting silique, unlike Brassicas. Leaves are basically haired and bi-pinnatesected. Glabrous, entire leaves are unique to Asian groups. Cultivated forms are usually biannual with enlarged root.
Variation of the size is quite large. Varieties with thin roots are used for fresh leaves or pods. Some of the latter are annual with extra-long silique. The color of root surface (other than white) is either red, purple, yellow or black for European group; green, red or purple for North Chinese group. Some of the latter show pigments in root flesh.
Enlarged roots of large varieties are either eaten fresh, cooked, picked or dried. Leaves (of young seedlings) are cooked. Small varieties and sprouts are eaten as salad.
L.Sazonova, Bull.Apl.Bot.Genet.and Plant Breed.,45,42(1974)