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Sea Radish

Raphanus raphanistrum maritimus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Biennial or Perennial
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Beaches, sand dunes, sea cliffs, seaside.

Yellow, 4 petals
The flowers are a rich yellow colour but occasionally a white form exists. Darker yellow veins can be noticed upon a closer inspection of the flowers. Each flower has 4 yellow stamens. The flowers grow in clusters at the ends of their branches. The petals are narrower at their bases and become broader towards their ends.
Long cylindrical fruit pods with spherical, beaded swellings. Each swelling contains a seed.
A biennial / perennial plant of the cabbage family. In the first year Sea Radish is usually just basal rosette of leaves. In the second year, Sea Radish grows taller and produces an upright main stem. The leaves are pinnate and toothed. The leaflets have toothed margins. The terminal leaflet is also toothed and lobed.
Other Names:
Maritime Wild Radish, Sea Rocket, Wild Radish.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. maritimus, commonly known as sea radish or maritime wild radish, is a subspecies of wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) in the family Brassicaceae. It is native to the coastal regions of Europe, Asia, and North Africa and it is widely naturalized in many other parts of the world. Sea radish is a biennial or perennial herb that can grow up to 1.5 m tall. It has large, lobed leaves and yellow or white flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. The plant grows in sandy or rocky soils, and it can tolerate salty conditions, hence its name. The leaves and young seedpods are edible and can be used in salads or as a cooked green. Sea radish is considered as a weed by many farmers because it can outcompete crops for resources and can host pests and diseases.


Sea radish (Raphanus raphanistrum maritimus) is a plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is native to the coastal regions of Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. It is also commonly known as wild radish or sea rocket. The plant is known for its pungent and peppery taste, and its leaves, seeds, and roots are used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Appearance and Habitat

Sea radish has green, lance-shaped leaves that grow from the base of the plant, and yellow flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant can grow up to 1.5 meters in height, and it prefers to grow in sandy soils near the coast or in disturbed areas.

Culinary uses

Sea radish is often used in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish due to its pungent and peppery flavor. The young leaves can also be cooked and used as a vegetable or added to soups and stews. The seeds of the plant are sometimes used as a substitute for mustard seeds, and the root can be pickled or grated and added to dishes for a spicy kick.

Medicinal properties

Sea radish has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties as well. The plant contains high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants, which can help boost the immune system and protect against cell damage. It is also rich in fiber, which can aid in digestion and help promote regular bowel movements. In addition, sea radish has been used to treat skin irritations and infections due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ecological value

Sea radish is an important plant in coastal ecosystems, as it helps to stabilize sand dunes and prevent erosion. The plant is also an important food source for many coastal birds, such as sandpipers and plovers, and its flowers attract bees and other pollinators.

In conclusion, sea radish is a versatile plant that has culinary, medicinal, and ecological value. Its pungent and peppery taste adds a unique flavor to dishes, while its medicinal properties can help improve health and well-being. Furthermore, its role in stabilizing coastal ecosystems and providing food for wildlife underscores its importance in the natural world. If you happen to live near the coast, consider exploring the culinary possibilities of this fascinating plant, or simply take a walk along the shoreline and admire the sea radish in its natural habitat.

More Information

Sea radish is a hardy plant that can grow in a wide range of conditions, making it a great choice for coastal gardens or other areas with poor soil. It is also an annual plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in one growing season, producing seeds that can be harvested for future use.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, sea radish has also been used in traditional folk medicine for a variety of ailments, such as coughs, colds, and arthritis. Its high sulfur content is thought to be beneficial for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and it has also been used to soothe insect bites and stings.

While sea radish is generally considered safe for consumption, it is important to be cautious when harvesting and consuming wild plants. As with any wild plant, there is a risk of contamination from pollutants or other toxins, so it is important to ensure that the plant is harvested from a clean and safe environment.

Sea radish is a unique and versatile plant that has been used for centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties. Its peppery flavor and nutritional benefits make it a popular choice for salads and other dishes, while its medicinal properties have been used to treat a wide range of ailments. Whether you are interested in exploring the culinary possibilities of this fascinating plant, or simply appreciate its role in coastal ecosystems, sea radish is a plant that is definitely worth learning more about.

Sea radish is also known for its ability to grow in difficult conditions, such as saline soil and areas with high winds and salt spray. This makes it an important plant in coastal restoration and erosion control projects. Its deep roots help to stabilize sand dunes and prevent soil erosion, while also providing habitat for a variety of coastal wildlife.

In some regions, sea radish is considered an invasive species, as it can quickly spread and outcompete native plant species. In these areas, efforts are being made to control its spread and prevent it from negatively impacting native ecosystems.

In terms of cultivation, sea radish is a relatively easy plant to grow. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. It is also tolerant of drought and can grow in a wide range of soil types. Seeds can be sown directly in the garden in the spring, and the plants should be thinned to allow for adequate spacing.

Sea radish is a fascinating and valuable plant that has been used for a wide range of purposes throughout history. Whether you are interested in its culinary uses, its medicinal properties, or its role in coastal ecosystems, sea radish is a plant that is worth exploring further. With its hardy nature and ability to grow in difficult conditions, it is a plant that can be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone, regardless of gardening experience.

Sea radish has also been used in traditional herbal medicine for its diuretic and expectorant properties, as well as its ability to stimulate the appetite and aid in digestion. It has been used to treat respiratory ailments, such as bronchitis and asthma, and its antiseptic properties make it useful in the treatment of wounds and infections.

The seeds of sea radish are also rich in oil, which can be used for a variety of purposes. The oil is high in unsaturated fatty acids, making it a healthy and nutritious option for cooking or as a dietary supplement. It is also used in cosmetics and skin care products for its moisturizing and nourishing properties.

In some cultures, sea radish is considered a symbol of resilience and strength, due to its ability to survive and thrive in challenging coastal environments. Its deep roots and hardy nature are seen as a metaphor for the ability to overcome adversity and adapt to changing circumstances.

Overall, sea radish is a fascinating and valuable plant that has a rich history of culinary, medicinal, and cultural uses. Whether you are interested in its nutritional benefits, its ability to stabilize coastal ecosystems, or its symbolic significance, sea radish is a plant that is definitely worth learning more about. With its unique flavor, hardy nature, and wide range of uses, sea radish is a plant that is sure to impress and inspire.


Sea Radish filmed at Silverdale on the 27th May 2023.


Music credits
Dark Walk by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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