BACKGROUND: Relatively new herbicides that target 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) are now available for use on the world's great grain crops (rice, wheat, corn and soybean) and for other uses. With widespread and persistent use of HPPD-inhibiting herbicides, the evolution of HPPD-inhibiting herbicide resistant weeds is inevitable. Currently, resistance to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides is known in two weed species, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. Here, we report a HPPD-inhibiting herbicide resistant wild radish population from the Western Australia grain belt. This population was not selected with HPPD-inhibiting herbicides, rather it evolved resistance to earlier used herbicides with different modes of action and exhibits cross-resistance to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides. RESULTS: Dose–response experiments showed the resistant (R) population exhibits 4 to 6.5-fold resistance to the HPPD-inhibiting herbicides mesotrione, tembotrione and isoxaflutole, compared to the susceptible (S) population. This resistance is not target-site based as cloning of full coding sequences of the HPPD genes from S and R plants did not reveal resistance-endowing single nucleotide polymorphisms. The HPPD gene expression levels are similar in S and R plants. In addition, no differences in [14C]-mesotrione uptake and translocation were observed in the S and R plants. However, the time required for R plants to metabolise 50% [14C]-mesotrione is 7.7-fold faster than for the S plants. CONCLUSION: We confirm resistance to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides exists in a population of the economically damaging global weed wild radish. The resistance in this population is due to a non-target-site based enhanced rate of herbicide metabolism.