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Red Cole Armoracia rusticana

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Cochlearia armoracia
Phonetic Spelling
ar-mor-AY-see-ah roo-stih-KAH-nah
Description

Native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Horseradish was brought to the US by colonists and is now grown worldwide.

This plant is a herbaceous perennial herb in the cabbage family with a deep taproot that is often grown as annual vegetable.  As a vegetable, it is grown for its fleshy roots that are harvested and grated to make relish, sauces, and seasonings.  They have a hot, bitter taste that comes from mustard oils that are released when the plant cells are cut or damaged.  The pungency will begin to degrade and take on a bitter taste if not mixed with vinegar, which will stop the degradation.  The oils (glucosinolates) can also cause your eyes to water.  

Its vigorous growth habit will allow it to smother out other vegetation, including weeds.  This is particularly true if the plant is not harvested each fall.  Leaving roots in the ground in lieu of harvesting will promote growth in the off months.  

Although clay soils tolerant, planting in lighter soils will make harvesting the roots easier.

Propagation can be done annually by removing the roots and storing them for planting the following year.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  It can be difficult to eliminate due to its deep taproot.  The smallest piece left in the soil can take root and grow into another plant.  The leaves are occasionally eaten by cabbage worm larvae and flea beetles.  

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Herb & Flower Cottage Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
    Variable markings appear on established plants
'Variegata'
Tags:
#houseplant#edible plant#white flowers#fragrant leaves#herbaceous#vegetable garden#herbaceous perennials#frost tolerant#edible roots#naturalizes#edible seeds#vegetable#naturalized area#annual vegetable#colonizing#perennial
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
    Variable markings appear on established plants
'Variegata'
Tags:
#houseplant#edible plant#white flowers#fragrant leaves#herbaceous#vegetable garden#herbaceous perennials#frost tolerant#edible roots#naturalizes#edible seeds#vegetable#naturalized area#annual vegetable#colonizing#perennial
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Armoracia
    Species:
    rusticana
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Condiment
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S. Ukraine to European Russia
    Distribution:
    Worldwide distribution
    Wildlife Value:
    It is pollinated by bees, flies and beetles.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    Edible parts: roots, used as a condiment, but only in small amounts (do not eat large amounts of the roots as eating large amounts may result in poisonous symptoms); leaves, as expand in the spring, may be boiled in salted water until tender, then eaten with butter or margarine
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Oblong seed pods form after flowering. Each can contain up to 8 seeds. Rarely produces viable seeds in cold winter climates.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The non-showy flowers are small, white, and 4-parted. They form in panicles or racemes up to 16" long.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green basil leaves can grow up 2' long and 6" wide. The stem leaves grow to 6" long and 2" wide. They are alternate, simple, and the margin is toothed. As they ascend the stem, the leaves become smaller.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Problems:
    Weedy