Both Rettich and Radieschen refer to radish.

Is there a difference? Is it a regional difference? Or different kind of raddish? Or is it just different names that refer to the same kind of generic radish?

  • 4
    The answer may depend on whether you are interested in botany terminology (then Radieschen are a subdivision of Rettich) or every-day use (then Radieschen are the little red radish turnips and Rettich is a larger white-ish radish turnip.)
    – Chris
    Jul 20, 2015 at 16:08
  • 2
    Google Pictures would help a lot in this case.
    – c.p.
    Jul 20, 2015 at 19:48
  • @Chris: What's a radish turnip? I've never heard the term before and a quick Google search seems to turn up only pages comparing radishes and turnips...
    – Mac
    Jul 21, 2015 at 7:51
  • @Mac: Hmm, I'm not a native English speaker. I assumed that "turnip" describes the bulb/tuber shape of the plant. The German word for "turnip" is "Rübe" and as far as I know "Rübe" is (1) a species by itself and (2) the term for thick edible roots. My assumption was that (2) is also true for English.
    – Chris
    Jul 21, 2015 at 11:30
  • @Chris: Ah, ich beginne zu verstehen :) Ja, im Deutschen ist "Rübe" auch ein botanischer Begriff. Im Englischen heißt sowas je nach Kontext allerdings "root" oder "root vegetable". "Turnip" ist je nach geographischer Lage die Speise- oder die Steckrübe (die verschiedenen Rübenarten sind taxonomisch (sozusagen) ein sumpfiges Feld)... :)
    – Mac
    Jul 21, 2015 at 11:40

2 Answers 2


This answer refers to everyday usage of the words, not necessary the biologically correct definition:

To me as a native German speaker from South-Western Germany, Rettich and Radieschen are two entirely different things (and I am not sure I ever thought the two could be biologically related until this question just mentioned them together and thus hinted at a relationship).

Rettich is a long, white thing that is large enough so your fingers just reach around it when holding it in your hand. Among other uses, it is eaten by some people in small spiral-shaped slices with salt. Other than that, it seems to appear in dishes not so originally from Germany such as kimchi and some types of sushi.

Radieschen are little, bite-sized pinkish-red balls that are white on the inside. They are often sliced and added to salad or eaten on top of buttered bread.

  • 1
    While both are types of radish, I (personally) would use the Japanese loanword "daikon" to translate Rettich, since "radish" almost always refers to Radieschen in my experience.
    – Max
    Jul 20, 2015 at 19:30
  • 3
    Well, Radi is a Southern synonym for Rettich and Radies+chen is a conventionalized diminutive.
    – Crissov
    Jul 20, 2015 at 19:30

Radieschen are garten-rettich, garden rashishes, or in English, common radishes (Raphanus sativus), tart little red-skinned white spheres. Sometimes, it is called the German radish.

Rettiche is a broad category of plants, Brassicaceae, that includes common radishes (even the large daikon or "Oriental radish" cultivar), rape-seed, cabbage, and turnips.

  • Small correction re: second paragraph: While Rettiche is indeed a branch of the Brassicaceae family, they form a relatively small part. Rape-seed, turnips, cabbages etc. are all not Rettiche!
    – Mac
    Jul 21, 2015 at 7:49

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