Japanese horseradish, or Wasabia japonica, is a perennial plant native to Japan. It has long, thin leaves and small white flowers. The plant grows to be about two feet tall and has a thick, fleshy root.
Japanese horseradish is commonly differentiated from other horseradish plants by its unique, spicy flavor. The plant’s root is the part that is used for cooking, and it is often grated and used as a condiment, particularly in sushi dishes.
In order to cultivate Japanese horseradish successfully, the plant prefers moist, well-draining soil and partial shade. It is not winter hardy, so it must be grown in a greenhouse or indoors in colder climates.
Japanese horseradish is not typically used for medicinal purposes, but it does have some potential health benefits. The root contains compounds that may have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.