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Horseradish

Armoracia rusticana

Pepper root, Pepper turnip, Red cole

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Horseradish is used as a spice, grows up to 1.2 meters tall, and is primarily cultivated for its large, white, tapered root. It is a perennial plant with a tapering, fleshy taproot that grows up to 60 cm long and has large basal leaves with toothed margins. The white flowers appear mid-summer to mid-autumn. The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma but when cut or grated, the broken down enzymes produce mustard oil, which irritates the mucous membranes of the sinuses and eyes. Grated mash should be used immediately or preserved in vinegar for best flavor. Once exposed to air or heat it will begin to lose its pungency, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter tasting over time.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

The roots can be harvested as needed throughout the season. However, for peak flavour wait to harvest the roots until after the first killing frost. Store the roots in a cool, dark location to avoid spoilage and discolouration.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in spring with a spacing of 50 cm apart and a sowing depth of 5 to 7 cm. Keep moist.
Division
This is the easiest way of propagation. Break the mature, large plant mass into pieces and plant separately.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
The flowers serve as food source to insects.
Attractive leaves
The young leaves are large and green, while mature leaves have many finely divided leaves! Often bth visible on the plant.

Geography

Origin
Native to southeastern Europe and Western Asia.
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Internal and external bacterial infections can be controlled using horseradish. The roots, when used in their fresh state, can be used to clear sinuses and hay fever.
Edible
The roots are harvested for sources and spices. It is an ideal condiment to beef, pork, sausages and potato salad. The leaves can also be used in a salad.
Notes
Medicinal. Food.

Personality

Family
Brassicaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
None

Problems

Generally pest and disease free

Companion plants

Potatoes, Fruit Trees, Yams, Plums

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