The Watermelon radish is a member of the mustard family, which includes arugula, broccoli and turnips. The watermelon radish has an edible round white root with a green stem and leaves. The watermelon radish’s inside flesh is rimmed in white with a dark pink circular pattern, resembling a watermelon. The inside of the Watermelon radish is crisp and sweet, with a mild, peppery taste.
Growing watermelon radishes is as easy to grow as other radish varieties, and can be ordered through online seed catalogs. However, watermelon radishes may take longer to mature than other types of radishes (about 65 days). Watermelon radishes are available all year long, with a peak growing seasons in the spring and late fall. High temperatures and warm soil can have an effect on the radish’s flavor, making the fruit taste bitter.
The fruit, root and leaves of the watermelon radish provide an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients, particularly when eaten raw.
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Selecting and serving
When shopping for watermelon radishes, select those that are firm, without bruises or cracks. Watermelon radishes can be served fresh or cooked, hot or cold. Cooking the watermelon radish will enhance its natural sweetness. This fruit’s vibrant color is perfect for topping salads and sandwiches. Watermelon radishes are delicious when pickled.
Laurie Osgood is the family and consumer sciences agent for UF/IFAS Extension Gadsden County.