Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)

Description

Also called sunchoke, this large, coarse sunflower was cultivated by Native Americans of the Great Plains and spread eastward. Plants are still grown today for harvest of the tubers which begins about 2 weeks after the bright yellow flowers fade. Each plant typically produces 2-5 pounds of tubers per year. Raw tubers have a nutty flavor. Tubers may be grated raw into salads, boiled and/or mashed somewhat like potatoes, roasted or added to soups. Unlike potatoes, tubers do not contain starch. They do contain inulin, which converts into fructose, which may be better tolerated by people with type 2 diabetes than sucrose. Notwithstanding its common name, however, Jerusalem artichoke is not a type of artichoke (thistle-like plant). Moreover, it is native to North America with no connection to the city of Jerusalem in Israel. Jerusalem artichoke probably comes from the Italian name for this plant, girasole articiocco, which means “sunflower artichoke” in reference to flower appearance and tuber taste, with Jerusalem probably being a mispronunciation of girasole. Grows to 6 feet. Full sun to part shade. Photos courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden.
 
Jerusalem Artichoke-FC

Also called sunchoke, this large, coarse sunflower was cultivated by Native Americans of the Great Plains and spread eastward. Plants are still grown today for harvest of the tubers which begins about 2 weeks after the bright yellow flowers fade. Each plant typically produces 2-5 pounds of tubers per year. Raw tubers have a nutty flavor. Tubers may be grated raw into salads, boiled and/or mashed somewhat like potatoes, roasted or added to soups. Unlike potatoes, tubers do not contain starch. They do contain inulin, which converts into fructose, which may be better tolerated by people with type 2 diabetes than sucrose. Notwithstanding its common name, however, Jerusalem artichoke is not a type of artichoke (thistle-like plant). Moreover, it is native to North America with no connection to the city of Jerusalem in Israel. Jerusalem artichoke probably comes from the Italian name for this plant, girasole articiocco, which means “sunflower artichoke” in reference to flower appearance and tuber taste, with Jerusalem probably being a mispronunciation of girasole. Grows to 6 feet. Full sun to part shade. Photos courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden.
 
Jerusalem Artichoke-FC