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Plants for a Plant Zoo: Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana aka Cochlearia armoraci)

If you like the wild ponies of  Assateague you will enjoy growing horseradish!  It doesn’t know its place and insists on moving about expanding its territory year after year. The coarse rosette of dark green, oblong, 3′ long leaves are not ornamentally attractive and diminish the appearance of the densely packed terminal racemes of flowers that appear in mid summer.  So why grow it? Simple, for the magnificent taproot that can be made into sauce to complement beef or make cocktail sauce for shrimp. In spite of its unruly ways, horseradish is easy to grow; just get a piece of root from a friend,  plant it in an out of the way place, and you will have more than enough to feed yourself and the neighbors by the next year.

Type: Perennial herb

Height: 2-3′

Bloom Color:  White

Bloom Time: Mid Summer

Light: Full sun but tolerates partial shade.

Soil: Rich, loose, deeply cultivated, moist, well-drained.

Hardiness: Zones 5-9; prefer cool summers.

Photo Credit Wikipedia