Analyses of populations ofRaphanus growing in the central part of California, from the Sierra Nevada foothills to the Pacific coast, show that pureR. raphanistrum can be found only in the Central Valley, while over the remainder of the area populations of the so-called “wild” (weedy)R. sativus occur. More detailed morphological studies of a number of populations in this area have revealed that the populations of “wild”R. sativus originated by hybridization of the cultivated forms of this species (the radish) with another introduced species, already a weed,R. raphanistrum. The composition of each hybrid population with respect to the proportion of characters of the one or the other species depends upon the habitat it occupies and its geographic location. Populations in inland areas display a high proportion ofR. raphanistrum characters, while in those near the coastR. sativus characters predominate.
Artificial hybrids betweenR. raphanistrum and a cultivated form ofR. sativus exhibited about 50% pollen fertility and were heterozygous for a reciprocal translocation. Examination of “wild” populations ofR. sativus revealed that plants heterozygous for a reciprocal translocation are present in varying proportions. Experimental evidence is produced to show that this translocation is identical with that separatingraphanistrum from cultivated forms ofsativus. Thus a cytological proof of the introgression is added to the morphological evidence. Introgression ofraphanistrum characters appears to have been a major factor in converting the erstwhile crop plant,R. sativus, into a highly successful weed in California.