Wild Radish--Raphanus raphanistrum—a member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae) is native to Asia but introduced into most parts of the world.
Wild Radish prefers growing by roadsides or places where the ground and soil has been disturbed, where I find it most in Santa Cruz Mountains. A tall plant in loose clusters of 2-3’ tall, its flowers are four-petals, 14-20mm across. Colors are variable, including white, purple or yellow. Wild Radish is a huge source of pollen and nectar for honey bees.
Wild Radish is considered an invasive species and regarded a weed by most farmers because it gets into forage and grain crops. In fact, in certain parts of Australia, it’s listed as a major environmental hazard and is locally controlled. Ironically enough, here in Los Gatos, CA, it is used as an edible plant by one of the more exclusive restaurants (Manresa, in Los Gatos)!
Weed or not, these flowers are captivating close up!
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