Growing wasabi in the Pacific Northwest
Miles, Carol A.
Daniels, Catherine H., 1957-
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Wasabi (Wasabia japonica [Miq.] Matsum. syn. Eutrema japonicum) is a perennial plant native to Japan. It is a member of a plant family commonly known as mustards and, like them, is primarily used as a condiment. Scientifically, wasabi is considered a member of the Cruciferaceae or Brassicaceae family. Grown for its unique, enlarged stem, wasabi has a hot, pungent flavor provided by the compound allyl isothiocyanate. Wasabi thrives in cool, moist, temperate climates. It is poorly adapted to most regions of the United States but does grow well in coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. Wasabi is very suitable for small-acreage production because it is a high-value crop. However, growers need to become familiar with the unique production requirements of wasabi. This publication outlines all aspects of wasabi production, including cultivar selection, plant propagation, horticultural practices, soil fertility, harvest, storage, and pest management. Since wasabi is still a new crop in the United States, information on its production here is limited. Japanese authors writing on native growing conditions and experiences are the major source of information in this publication. Growers in the Pacific Northwest are advised to experiment with this research and adapt the findings for their particular environment.