We depend on donations from users of our database of over 8000 edible and useful plants to keep making it available free of charge and to further extend and improve it. In recent months donations are down, and we are spending more than we receive. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Wasabia japonica - (Miq.)Matsum.

Common Name Japanese Horseradish, Wasabi
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Wet places and by streams, in lowland and mountain areas[58]. Usually found near the coast[200].
Range E. Asia - Japan.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Wasabia japonica Japanese Horseradish, Wasabi

Wasabia japonica Japanese Horseradish, Wasabi


Translate this page:


UPDATE 12/09/2011: This name is a synonym of Eutrema japonicum (Miq.) Koidz..

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Wasabia japonica is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in flower from April to May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Eutrema wasabi.


 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root
Edible Uses: Condiment

Root - a horseradish substitute[2, 46, 58, 61, 105]. The fleshy rhizomes are finely grated and prepared into an attractive fresh green paste which is much used as a condiment in Japan[183]. It is considered to have a distinct flavour and pungency that is superior to horseradish, Armoracia rusticana[183]. The pungency rapidly deteriorates once the root has been cut[200]. Roots of plants 15 - 24 months old are best[238]. Leaves, flowers and petioles - cooked[105, 179, 200]. The leaves, flowers, leafstalks and freshly sliced rhizome are soaked in salt water and then mixed with saki lees to make a popular Japanese pickle called 'wasabi-zuke'[183]. The following analysis is said to belong to the leaves but it looks more like a root analysis[K]. The leaves contain about 6.1% protein, 0.2% fat, 22.3% carbohydrate, 1.3% ash[179].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The root is a pungent warming herb that stimulates the digestion[238]. It is used internally as an antidote to fish poison[238]. (This probably refers to food poisoning caused by eating fish[K]).

References   More on Medicinal Uses

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More


Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a position in wet soil or shallow water. The best quality roots are produced from plants growing in semi-shade in clear running spring water at a temperature between 11 - 14°c[200]. This species is cultivated in eastern Asia for its edible root which is used in much the same way as horseradish[58], it takes 3 - 5 years to produce marketable roots[116]. The roots are finger-thick and up to 18cm long[206].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and keep the seed permanently moist[238]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Stand the pots in shallow water to ensure the plants do not dry out. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring as the plant comes into growth. Very easy, the larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Tue Nov 29 2005

Give more information about the plant.like its class, order, and other things like that

Dr Brian Oates, President and Chief Research Officer   Tue Apr 4 2006

Pacific Coast Wasabi Ltd Much relevant up to date information on the culinary and biomedical uses of Wasabi.

Doug Lambrecht, CEO - Real Wasabi, LLC   Sun Apr 1 2007

www.realwasabi.com offers a wealth of information about cultivation and processing of wasabia japonica as well as its use in contemporary and traditional cusine.

Real Wasabi - celebrating the authenticity of Wasabia japonica Premium source for fresh, dried and frozen authentic wasabi products

Alejandro gunst   Fri Oct 17 2008

Hi, do you know where can I buy seeds from the wasabia japonica? thanks Alejandro Gunst

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Wasabia japonica  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.