Seed of the Week: Radishes

What were those simple round seeds last week? They were radish seeds, Raphanus sativus.

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The generic name for radish, Raphanus, comes from the Greek for “to appear quickly.” Radishes do just that. They can germinate in a little as three days under the right circumstances and can produce an edible root in as little as three weeks. That’s what makes them a great plant for children to grow.

Here’s the part we eat, the fleshy root. Radishes may be red, white, purple, gray, yellow or a mix of colors, depending on variety.

We enjoy “French Breakfast” (not shown here) for its mild flavor.

If you do not harvest the roots, the plant may eventually flower.

Letting the radish go to seed and produce fruit can be interesting for children, too.

The fruit or seed pods look somewhat like elongated peanut shells.

Inside the seeds are protected by a white material that resembles styrofoam.

Given this somewhat fancy packaging, how do you think these seeds disperse?

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