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Horseradish Plants

Horseradish is a herbaceous plant (Armoracia rusticana or Cochlearia armoracia) native to parts of Europe and Asia. The horseradish plant’s leaves are not commonly consumed but the roots are. Contrary to the name, horses do not actually eat horseradish under normal conditions, as it can be a digestive irritant. The name is thought to come from the plant’s large root size, or strong potency of the root itself, as horses are traditional depictions of power. Horseradish root is often peeled and grated so that it can be made into horseradish sauce – a popular condiment for meats like beef. Fresh-ground horseradish is quite pungent, with a lot of kick, but it becomes more mild after a few days or after being turned into horseradish sauce. The horseradish plant is green and leafy with small white flowers in spring, and the roots can span several feet as the plant matures. Easy to grow, requiring minimal maintenance, horseradish plants make a great addition to the kitchen garden – even in colder climates.

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