Armoracia rusticana
Common Name: horseradish
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Brassicaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Europe
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 2.50 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb, Vegetable, Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Fragrant

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Soil rich in organic matter will produce the largest, most pungent roots. Plants rarely produce viable seed. Usually grown as an annual (i.e., plant root cuttings in spring and harvest roots in late fall), however roots may be harvested at any time (they can remain in the soil year-round, but should be harvested no later than the following spring).

Noteworthy Characteristics

Armoracia rusticana, commonly called horseradish, is a somewhat coarse vegetable that is grown for its pungent, fleshy roots which are harvested and grated to make sauces or relishes. Plant features large, variably sized (up to 2' long), dock-like, toothed, shiny, dark green leaves and insignificant, whitish flowers which appear in summer in terminal panicles. An extremely vigorous plant that crowds out most weeds and is itself weed-like, with a very spreading growth habit (particularly if the roots are not harvested every year).

Genus name comes from the classical Latin name of a related plant.

Specific epithet means pertaining to the country.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Can be difficult to eliminate from an area since tiny pieces of root left behind after harvest can generate new plants.

Garden Uses

Grow in a quiet, sunny corner of the vegetable garden where its spreading habit will not crowd out other plants.