These pungent little masses steeped in ancient vegetable history, appear to have originated in Southern Asia (where many of today’s unusual varieties still come from…) and later found cultivated in Egypt in 2780 BC. The Romans and Greek made forms of them to accompany their decreased loved ones into the afterlife centuries later. Approximately 1548 A.D., England had their first tastes. And between 1600-1700 N.A. was honored with their fiery taste.

Begun in 1897, a celebration called “Noche de Rabanos” (Night of the Radish) occurs every year on Dec. 23 in the main Plaza of Oaxaca City, Mexico.This evening event consists of an exhibition of sculptures made from a variety of huge red radishes. These radishes (which can weigh from 5 to 10 lbs and grow to 20″ long…) are especially grown for this event. They are left in the ground for months after normal harvests are long over, to let them attain their giant proportions and unusual shapes. Their growers will then spend several days (always spraying with water to keep them optimally fresh…) sculpturing them into fantastic creations. Later contestants walk by the judges and their works are judged for the creative way the radish was cut. Winner receives his/her photo in next mornings local paper! This event runs for only an evening, but it attracts 1000’s of people.

The earliest radish was black. Later varieties of white were found and around 1700’s the first red was developed! Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid & potassium. Good source of Vit. B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper & calcium! Here’s to your health!

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Occasionally we may have “extra” seed. Pkts. marked below. If nothing marked…then it is “N/A”.

  1. Big White Prince – has roots the size and shape of mini white turnips. As in other white varieties, this one has no green “topping” on the root…just pure white, through and through.
  2. Black Spanish (Round) (aka Noir Gros Rond D’Hiver) Some say that this large winter radish was probably around since the 16th Century or earlier. It forms round globes of 3” – 5” in diameter, depending on harvesting date. Flavor is very fine with some “heat”. This deep black-skinned rooted variety (with crisp white flesh) should keep all winter in good condition, if stored well. Soil temps for growing, should be 60F/15C or lower to PREVENT BOLTING! Because our springs (Man.) are so short, try planting some as soon as the soil can be worked. (I have seen radish germinate and grow successfully, if some seed was left in the ground from the year before!) The next chance would be in early fall, say by end of August when the heat waves have passed. Space each seed 3” to 4” apart in the row. “Nero Tondo” is another black variety, that some say is more uniform with better bolting resistance. 45 days
  3. Black Spanish (Long) (aka Noir Gros Long D’Hiver) An old European heirloom. Long 9” black roots with pure white crisp and pungent flesh. For fall plantings. Very hard to find…Rare.   
  4. China White Winter – another heritage variety, much like “China Rose” only this one has blunt tip ends and the “Rose” has pointy tip ends. Again, a winter radish with white long roots that grow from 7-8” long. White flesh is solid, crisp and pungent…great for raw or cooked eating. Rapid growth essential for tender roots with even moisture. Plant in the early fall as it is a winter keeper. 58 days
  5. Champion – New for 2024! The most reliable variety grown in Manitoba. It is suggested (because our summers tend to get too hot too quickly, causing all radish forms to bolt!) that you sow radishes super early when the ground to still cold. This gives them enough time to mature (which they do quickly)! Another option is to sow after August 15th (providing temps have cooled down considerable) which would give them enough time to mature. I have also found much to my surprise, them germinating in early spring, ones that didn’t germinate the spring before! Even after I tilled the soil…causing them to be quite buried! Gorgeous globes! 30-40 days approx.    Pkt…$3.00
  6. Chinese Green LuoBo – (aka Quigluobo) A popular root radish from Northern China. Tasty flesh is bright green! Very unique and colorful. These are shaped like “daikons”. These are the “standard” in mainland China. Will only grow well in cool weather, so start them in the fall. Rare heirloom. 
  7. Chinese Green Meat –  A gorgeous green and white “French Breakfast” daikon! Seeds are yellow…unlike the previously mentioned variety, whose seeds are normal as all others. Longer roots are crisp and fresh tasting.  
  8. Chinese Red Meat – (aka Beauty Heart ) No, this is not the other famous “Watermelon”! Sure love the looks of this one! A beautiful variety originating from the oldest civilization in the world…China. Unlike the “other” these have 4” round roots with emerald green…blending to white tips skin and the rosiest, rose/red fleshy heart. Wow! Very sweet, crisp and delicious. Another one that needs to be grown in the cool of the season…in very early spring or early fall. A must-have for your summer salad! 55 days
  9. Chinese Rose Winter – An older heritage variety, thought to orig. in China. 6-8″ long cylindrical var. with vibrant dark rose skin. Best planted late summer, once heat decreases. Flesh is crisp white, mildly pungent. Excellent as a long term storage type.
  10. Collection of the Super 7  – A mixture of various varieties. Every year will be different. Should prove very interesting, when they are ready for harvesting! You just might have some coming up real early OR some coming up later in the fall.
  11. Comet Red – A.A.S. winner in 1936. Globe-shaped (some elongated…) red roots are best when they are 1” in diameter. Doesn’t get pithy as other radishes. Long season grower. Ready in 23 to 26 days. Plant 1 month before the last frost. Then again in late summer for fresh fall harvests.   
  12. Early Scarlet Globe – Here is one, almost everyone grew up with…like an old gardening friend! A very reliable classic round red radish offering crisp, mild, white, tasty flesh. Has better warm weather tolerance than many others. 22 days 
  13. Formosa Giant – An Asian variety capable of growing quite large. More oval than long or round. Roots are white skinned, white fleshed and quite sweet. Used in vegan salads and soups religiously.
  14. French Breakfast – Back for 2024! One of the few oblong and blunt formed radishes offered. A garden standard since 1885 and of French origin. An attractive gourmet variety with mild, spicy flavor, that bears a bright long red top and a white tipped bottom. (See growing hints in Champion variety above…)  20-30 days   Pkt…$3.00
  15. German Giant –  A very large round rose/red radish that was found and collected in Germany. The Amish were very fond of it, for its mild, tasty flavor and general fine eating qualities…even when it grows large. 35 days 
  16. Giant of Sicily – an Italian heirloom found in Sicily. Again large 2” round summer radishes that appear vibrant red in color with white flesh. Their flesh is tender and crisp…tasty with good quality. 29 days
  17. Hailstone White (aka White Globe, aka White Hailstone, aka White Button) An old-timer that was and still is very early.Some folks say, that from all the radish varieties, this one tastes the best. A pure white, mild, firm, crisp flesh spring type. Skin is also pure white. Best planted in early spring or late summer. Radishes are cabbage relatives that originated from China. Ready in 23-34 days
  18. Helios – Named for the Greek God of the sun. This heirloom came from Alzbeta Kovacova-Pecarova of Kosice, Czechoslovakia. More than likely the one mentioned in Vilmorin’s book “The Vegetable Garden” (1885) calling it the “Small Early Yellow Turnip Radish”. An amazing beautiful pale yellow (…for a radish!) in an olive-shape. Truly unusual. A sweet spring variety with crisp flesh and mild pungent flavor. Can be sown in early spring or early fall. Rare! 30 days
  19. Japanese Minovase Daikon – an old Japanese favorite and a giant! Giant white roots can grown to 24” long and 3” wide! They say the roots are sweet, crisp and white and in true Japanese tradition…pickled, stir-fried and steamed (or grated raw in salads). Plant in late summer for cooler growth and for finishing.  
  20. Jaune D’OR Ovale –Young roots are tannish white, maturing to yellow/beige/tan. An 1885 heirloom variety, 1st mentioned by Vilmorin, a French Seed House. (The Vilmorin Seed House Co. was formed in 1742, selling plants and seeds…importing from various exotic areas. In 1856, it published its 1st seed catalog. In 1989 (It had been in existence for over 200 years!) it expanded to include a far greater inventory. It has changed ownership 17 x’s since…with many Vilmorin men having the greatest ownership majority. Today, it is the 2nd largest seed company in the world, having acquired over 20+ larger and smaller seed companies. The Vilmorin of today is a far cry from the seed company of 1742. Now…Feb.26, 2010 it has plans to sell bio-tech crops (genetically modified seeds…) acquired from Monsanto Co. within 6 years! (According to its Chief Executive officer Adrian Huige!) The gorgeous round eggs are pungent, yet staying tender (free from zoning) longer than most others.
  21. Malaga – Orig. from Poland. Round variety that is delicious, whether smaller or grown to maturity. Very rare deep purple skinned with crisp white flesh with some faint purple blush lines inside. Roots offer a mild peppery flavor. Limited  
  22. Munchener Bier – Popular German heirloom. Double duty special! Roots are 4″ long…white and crisp…for fresh eating. Young tender seed pods can also be pickled or added raw to salads. Finishing dates unknown. (I was sleeping on the job!)
  23. Nooitgedacht – …name is a suburb of Cape Town, in the province of South Africa. I obtained this variety from a gentleman from S. Africa. Appears to have a history of being a Japanese diakon, but developed further at the Nooitgedacht Research Station. Used there as a grazing fodder for cattle and sheep, yet when planted in the garden, roots and leaves can be cooked and eaten when young. Prefers a cooler, moist summer climate. A large, long white variety with light green tops exposed from the ground.
  24. Philadelphia White Box – a historical heirloom from the 1890’s that was introduced by David Landreth & Sons Seed Co. (one of the oldest seed houses in the U.S. est. 1784) in 1938 as a good variety for open cultivation. Sow very early in spring or early fall for mild snacks and salads. A small crisp white globule radish….mild and tasty. 30 days
  25. Purple Plum – (aka Purple Olive-Shaped) Pre -1779. Was mentioned in Thomas Mauve’s “Every man his own garden” 1779. An exciting color in radish varieties, for its bright purple skin and crisp, sweet, white flesh that does not get pithy. Globe roots are perfectly round and firm. Hardy and adaptable. This one can be sown in warmer weather. If any other color shows up, remove at once…for sake of purity (before they flower) 25-30 days
  26. Rat Tail – seed was collected from Thailand for this old Asian heirloom. Has been growing in N.A. gardens since 1860. Grown for its pods, which are useful fresh, stir-fried or pickled. The roots are not useful…only the pods. These will grow to 6” in length, are thin, crisp and spicy seed heads. Will be ready in 35 days or more. An amazing edible-podded radish.
  27. Red Head – Another open pollinated variety with unknown history. Imagine a pure white round hailstone var. and someone sneaks up and throws some candy apple colored paint on its head! Very beautiful bi-color. Mild roots should be harvested at 1″. 35 days 
  28. Saxa – Imagine eating these in only18 days! Yes! This one is the fastest in the land! A pretty red, round radish that produces fruits in < 3 weeks. If you are impatient, here is the one for you! Plant as early as the soil can be worked.
  29. Tri-color – An older Chinese heirloom with 3 colors displayed on its roots. 1) Green on top 2) White on the bottom and 3) Rose /Pink inside. A huge radish, whose large seeds are also tri-colored…interesting! A late season variety. Matures in 60 days  
  30. Watermelon radish – is slightly smaller than “Chinese Red Meat” with whitish skin outside and deeper rose flesh. Could very well have branched off its “sister” variety through mutation & selection. Elegant!
  31. White Icicle Daikon – (aka Lady Finger) Pre-1865 heirloom that continues to be very popular with home gardeners. Roots are slender, 6” long by 1” wide & white inside and out. Therefore work the ground where these are to be seeded, deeply. Market gardeners report a crisp flesh, and mild fine eating quality. Sow every 14 days while cool weather is prevalent. 28 days  
  32. Zlata Polish Yellow – An open pollinated heirloom variety. “Zlata” is a Slavic girl’s name. It is also a village in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. This village existed “on paper” from 1357. “Zlata” means “Golden“. This radish is also flaxen gold skinned, round with soft skin and a crispy, crunchy texture. Mild AND spicy! Resistant to bolting and splitting.