Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus cultivar [White Oriental Radish]

Family Name: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Synonyms: Raphanus sativus var. sativus (white daikon)
Common Name: Radish, 萝卜, 白萝卜,Lobak
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Caterpillar Food Plant Fruit & Vegetable Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Annual Dry Soils / Drought


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.2 m to 1 m


Native Distribution Origin is uncertain, but likely from eastern Mediterranean to Caspian Sea.
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Erect annual herb up to 1 m tall.
Roots Roots vary widely in terms of shape and size. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Radish cultivar group is most common. The upper part of the taproot and the hypocotyl (the portion of the stem below the cotyledons) becomes swollen and forms a white, cylindrical tuber. It has a mild flavour and a crisp texture. Southeast Asian cultivars within the Chinese Radish cultivar group tend to be smaller than those found in China and Japan (10-25 cm long, 4-5 cm wide).
Foliage Leaves are either glabrous or have a few stiff hairs. The lower leaves are larger than the upper ones and arranged in a rosette instead of alternate leaf arrangement. Lower leaves are oblong (elongated), oblong-ovate (elongated to egg-shaped) to lyrate-pinnatifid (leaf blade divided into lobes that create a feather-like pattern with the largest lobe at the tip). 
Flowers White to light purple, fragrant flowers (1.5 cm wide) are arranged in a raceme (a spike-like inflorescence composed of flowers mounted on stalks up to 2.5 cm long). The raceme occurs near the stem tip.
Cultivation Seeds may take 4 to 10 days to germinate. Depending on the varieties, the plant may take 21 to 60 days to mature. Grow it in a sunny location and regular watering. Best grown in deep soil, wide spacing between seedlings or plantlets.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves, Edible Roots)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : In Southeast Asia, the tuberous root is typically used in soups, sauces or meat dishes.)
Medicinal ( The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in folk medicine to treat asthma. The root is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and foot odour.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Small Gardens, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Rosulate / Rosette
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Margin Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid, Lyrate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Root Type Underground (Tap Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Swollen Taproot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Inflorescence Type Raceme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Seed Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Seed Description Ovoid-globose, about 3mm in diameter.
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Moderate (6-10)


References Siemonsma, J.S. and Piluek, K. (Editors). 1994. Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) No 8. Vegetables. Bogor, Indonesia: Prosea Foundation.

Image Repository



Master ID 16813
Species ID 3336
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 10 February 2021.