Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Family: Brassicaceae
Form: Herb 
Origin: Native to Mediterranean region 
Flowers/Seedhead: In branched racemes. Flowers from late winter to summer. 

Wild Radish is becoming one of the most difficult weeds to control in our area, with land further North showing signs of resistance to chemical control of the plant. Wild Radish is in the Brassicaceae (mustard) family and there are many related family members including wild turnip, shepherds purse, turnip weed to name a few.

Wild Radish is a schedule 4 – Class 4 Noxious weed. It can cause significant crop yield losses as it establishes quickly, is vigorous and is a fast growing plant. Wild radish that emerges with the crop can cause more than 90% yield loss whereas populations that emerge more than 7 weeks later cause less than 20% yield loss (Blackshaw 2001). 

The plant is easily spread by animals, wind and water but mostly through agricultural products containing the weed. 

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Control of wild radish has been through the use of Herbicides as the most fast and effective way to control plant populations. However this has led to herbicide resistance in the plants due to their overuse. Control of the plants now depends on a combined integrated weed management approach incorporating a range of chemical, cultural and biological weed control techniques and a proactive approach to weed management. 

For further information:

Photos courtesy of Department of Agriculture and Food WA, CSIRO and flickr.com