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Turnip vs. Radish — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 3, 2023
Turnip is a round, white root vegetable; Radish is a small, often red, pungent root vegetable.
Turnip vs. Radish — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Turnip and Radish


Key Differences

Turnip is a root vegetable that primarily grows in temperate climates. It's known for its round shape and white or purple-tinted flesh. Its taste is mild, and it's often used in stews or eaten mashed. Radish, on the other hand, grows in many varieties and colors, from white to red to purple.
Radish is typically smaller than a turnip and can be spicy or sweet based on its variety. It's popular in salads due to its crunchy texture and sharp taste. Turnip, being larger and milder, is more versatile when it comes to cooking and can be roasted, boiled, or even eaten raw.
Turnip greens, the leafy part of the turnip plant, are edible and often enjoyed in various cuisines. They offer a slightly bitter taste. Radish leaves are also edible, but they're not as commonly consumed as turnip greens. Their flavor can be peppery, resembling the root they sprout from.
Both Turnip and Radish provide a range of health benefits. They're rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, while turnips are a good source of Vitamin C and manganese, radishes offer vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
The cultivation of Turnip dates back over 4,000 years, and they've been a staple in European diets for centuries. Radish has Asian origins and has been cultivated in Egypt since ancient times, spreading its popularity across the globe.

Comparison Chart


Round, white or purple-tinted flesh.
Small, varies in color (red, white, etc.).


Mild, slightly sweet.
Can be spicy or sweet.

Common Use

Stews, mashes, roasted.
Salads, pickles, raw eating.

Edible Greens?

Yes, slightly bitter.
Yes, peppery.

Nutritional Focus

Vitamin C, manganese.
Vitamin C, folate, potassium.

Compare with Definitions


Turnip can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, or mashed.
Roasted turnips can be a delicious side dish.


Radishes are a part of the Brassicaceae family, coming in various colors and shapes.
The red globe radish is commonly found in supermarkets.


Turnip is a round root vegetable with white flesh and a pungent taste.
She added diced turnips to the stew.


Radish is a small, crunchy root vegetable that can range from sweet to spicy.
She sliced the radish for her salad.


Turnip is often cultivated in temperate climates and is part of the Brassica genus.
Turnips thrive in cooler weather.


Radishes have been cultivated since ancient times, with origins in Southeast Asia.
Radishes are a staple in many traditional dishes.


The green leaves of the turnip plant are edible and nutritious.
Turnip greens can be sautéed with garlic and olive oil.


Radish can be consumed raw, pickled, or as a garnish.
Pickled radishes are popular in some Asian cuisines.


Turnip's cultivation dates back over 4,000 years in European history.
Ancient civilizations recognized the value of the turnip.


The greens of the radish plant are edible, with a peppery taste.
Radish greens can add a kick to your green smoothie.


The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, fleshy taproot.


The radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus) is an edible root vegetable of the family Brassicaceae that was domesticated in Asia prior to Roman times.


A round root with white or cream flesh which is eaten as a vegetable and also has edible leaves.


A swollen pungent-tasting edible root, especially a variety which is small, spherical, and red, and eaten raw with salad.


The European plant of the cabbage family which produces the turnip.


The plant of the cabbage family which yields the radish.


A large, thick, old-fashioned watch.


A Eurasian plant (Raphanus sativus) in the mustard family, having a fleshy edible root and white to purple flowers clustered in a terminal raceme.


A widely cultivated Eurasian plant (Brassica rapa) of the mustard family, having a large rounded edible whitish root and edible leaves.


The pungent root of this plant, often eaten raw.


The root of this plant, eaten as a vegetable.


A plant of the Brassicaceae family, Raphanus sativus or Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus, having an edible root.


Chiefly Northeast US A rutabaga.


The root of this plant used as food. Some varieties are pungent and usually eaten raw in salads, etc., while others have a milder taste and are cooked.


The white root of a yellow-flowered plant, Brassica rapa, grown as a vegetable and as fodder for cattle.


With a distinguishing word: some other plant of the Raphanus genus or Brassicaceae family.


The yellow root of a related plant, the swede or Brassica napus.


The pungent fleshy root of a well-known cruciferous plant (Raphanus sativus); also, the whole plant.


(Hong Kong) The white root of Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, also known as a daikon.


Pungent fleshy edible root


(dated) A large, heavy pocket watch, so called because its profile resembled the vegetable.


Pungent edible root of any of various cultivated radish plants


(slang) A fool or simpleton.


Eurasian plant widely cultivated for its edible pungent root usually eaten raw


(transitive) To plant with turnips.


(transitive) To feed or graze (livestock) on turnips.


The edible, fleshy, roundish, or somewhat conical, root of a cruciferous plant (Brassica campestris, var. Napus); also, the plant itself.


Widely cultivated plant having a large fleshy edible white or yellow root


Root of any of several members of the mustard family

Common Curiosities

Are Turnip greens edible?

Yes, turnip greens are edible and often enjoyed in various cuisines.

What is a Turnip?

A turnip is a round root vegetable with white or purple-tinted flesh.

What is a Radish?

A radish is a small root vegetable that can be red, white, or even purple and is known for its pungent taste.

Which is bigger, Turnip or Radish?

Turnips are generally larger than radishes.

Can you eat Radish greens?

Yes, radish greens are edible and have a peppery flavor.

Do both Turnips and Radishes belong to the same family?

Yes, both turnips and radishes belong to the Brassicaceae family.

Which is spicier, Turnip or Radish?

Radish tends to be spicier, while turnips have a milder taste.

How are Radishes commonly consumed?

Radishes are often eaten raw in salads, pickled, or used as a garnish.

Which has a stronger taste, Turnip or Radish?

Radish generally has a stronger, sometimes spicier, taste compared to the milder turnip.

How are Turnips commonly cooked?

Turnips can be roasted, boiled, mashed, or even eaten raw.

Where did Turnips originate?

Turnips have been cultivated for over 4,000 years, primarily in European regions.

Where did Radishes originate?

Radishes have origins in Southeast Asia but have been cultivated in places like Egypt since ancient times.

Are Radishes and Turnips good for health?

Yes, both are nutritious, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Can Turnips and Radishes be grown in the same garden?

Yes, both can be grown in the same garden, especially in cooler seasons.

Which takes longer to mature, Turnip or Radish?

Turnips generally take longer to mature than radishes.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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