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Vascular Plants of California
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Raphanus sativus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub; sap pungent, watery. Leaf: generally simple, alternate; generally both basal, cauline; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally not bracted. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 4, generally free; petals (0)4, forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple; stamens generally 6 (2 or 4), 4 long, 2 short (3 pairs of unequal length); ovary 1, superior, generally 2-chambered with septum connecting 2 parietal placentas; style 1, stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule, generally 2-valved, "silique" (length >= 3 × width) or "silicle" (length < 3 × width), dehiscent by 2 valves or indehiscent, cylindric or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, segmented or not. Seed: 1--many, in 1 or 2 rows per chamber, winged or wingless; embryo strongly curved.
Genera In Family: +- 330 genera, 3780 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Highest diversity in Mediterranean area, mountains of southwestern Asia, adjacent central Asia, western North America; some Brassica species are oil or vegetable crops; Arabidopsis thaliana used in experimental molecular biology; many species are ornamentals, weeds. Aurinia saxatilis (L.) Desvaux in cultivation only. Aubrieta occasional waif in central NCoR, Carrichtera annua (L.) DC. in SCo, Iberis sempervirens L., Iberis umbellata L. in PR, Teesdalia coronopifolia (Bergeret) Thell., Teesdalia nudicaulis (L.) W.T. Aiton in southern NCoRO, CCo. Cardaria, Coronopus moved to Lepidium; Caulostramina to Hesperidanthus; Guillenia to Caulanthus; Heterodraba to Athysanus; California taxa of Lesquerella to Physaria; Malcolmia africana to Strigosella.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: RaphanusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, biennial; hairs simple, rigid. Leaf: basal, proximal cauline petioled, pinnately lobed, margin dentate; distal cauline short-petioled to sessile, base not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: sepals erect, oblong to linear, base of inner pair sac-like; petals long-clawed, yellow, white, pink, or purple, veins darker. Fruit: silique or silicle, indehiscent, linear to lanceolate, oblong, or ovoid, segmented; proximal segment short, seedless; terminal segment seeded, beaked; stigma +- 2-lobed. Seed: in 1 row, wingless.
Etymology: (Greek: appearing rapidly, from seed germination)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Raphanus sativus L.
Habit: Sparsely hairy to glabrous. Stem: branched distally, (1)4--13 dm. Leaf: basal blade 2--60 cm, 1--20 cm wide, oblong, obovate, oblanceolate, or spoon-shaped in outline, lyre-shaped to pinnately divided; lateral lobes 1--12, dentate. Flower: sepals 5.5--10 mm; petals 15--25 mm, 3--8 mm wide. Fruit: fusiform or lanceolate, occasionally ovoid; proximal segment 1--3.5 mm; terminal segment (1)3--15(25) cm, (5)7--13(15) mm wide, corky; pedicel spreading to ascending, 0.5--4 cm. Seed: 2.5--4 mm, spheric to ovoid. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, fields; Elevation: < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP; Distribution Outside California: North America, temperate worldwide; native to Mediterranean Europe. Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: See note under Raphanus raphanistrum.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Raphanus sativus
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Raphanus sativus

botanical illustration including Raphanus sativus

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Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Raphanus sativus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 21, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 21, 2024.

Raphanus sativus
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©2019 Neal Kramer
Raphanus sativus
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©2008 Thomas Stoughton
Raphanus sativus
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©2008 Thomas Stoughton
Raphanus sativus
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©2015 Barry Breckling
Raphanus sativus
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©2016 California Academy of Sciences

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Geographic subdivisions for Raphanus sativus:
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).