Raphanus raphanistrum (Jointed Charlock)
|Also known as:||Wild Radish|
|Habitat:||sun; disturbed soil, waste places, cultivated fields, gardens|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||12 to 30 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Elongating loose cluster of stalked flowers at the ends of branching stems. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across with 4 paddle to spatula-shaped petals, the petal veins often distinct. Flower color is variable, often light yellow but ranging in shades of white, pink and yellow.
Leaves and stems:
Basal leaves are oblong-elliptic to spatula-shaped in outline, up to 8 inches long and 2 inches wide, with a large round lobe at the tip and smaller, deep lobes towards the stalk. Stem leaves are alternate, becoming shorter and less lobed as they ascend the stem, upper leaves nearly lance-elliptic with irregular, shallowly lobed or toothed edges that may also have a few stiff hairs. Stems branch freely, are green and smooth, sometimes with a few scattered stiff hairs especially towards the base.
Fruit is a 1-1½ inch long pod on a short stalk, mostly erect or slightly curved. When young they make a smooth round cylinder with a long tapered beak at the tip, but become constricted between the seeds when mature. The surface of the pod is typically smooth.
Also called Wild Radish, Jointed Charlock is not a naturalized version of the cultivated radish (Raphanus sativa), but a close relative. There are few herbarium records for this species in Minnesota and most of the sites used for our distribution map come from personal observations, all of them in the Anoka sandplain and all of them in sandy cultivated field settings. Perhaps it is a relatively new arrival here but in many western states and also noted in Australia, natural hybrids between Jointed Charlock and the cultivated radish have produced very aggressive invasive weeds that tolerate a great variation of natural habitats. Be on the lookout.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken in Sherburne County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka, Chisago, Sherburne and Washington counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?