- USDA hardiness zones:
Also known as sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambur; this herbaceous perennial plant is a member of the Aster family and more closely resembles a sunflower (helianthus annuus) rather than an artichoke (cynara scolymus). It grows anywher... more »
Also known as sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambur; this herbaceous perennial plant is a member of the Aster family and more closely resembles a sunflower (helianthus annuus) rather than an artichoke (cynara scolymus). It grows anywhere from 5 to 10 feet tall (1.5 to 3 m). The tubers are eaten raw, pickled or boiled, and otherwise similar to potatoes. The tuber is a viable fructose sources as well. Protein in the leaves is at their maximum in mid-september Harvest similar to potatoes, using the same tools (less)
- Dry to medium
Jerusalem artichokes are propagated from tubers. Select small, healthy tubers about 2 oz (57 g) with 2 to 3 buds on them. Plant early in spring but wait until soil temperatures are above 40 F (5 C.). Soil should be sandy and well-drained, but fertile. Tubers should be planted 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 cm) deep, 15 to 24 inches (38 to 60 cm ) apart, in rows 36 to 42 inches (90 to 100 cm) apart. Tubers will begin growing by August but should not be harvested until tops are killed by frost. Care should be taken as it is impossible to find all the small tubers at harvest so if no more plants are desired pull the new shoots in spring as they emerge before they can set more tubers.
Size and growth:
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Bloom / flowers:
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US native plant
Warm season, with less than 50 inches (1.4 M water)
Similar to water chestnuts in taste, the tuber is used as a gourmet vegetables. They resemble potatoes except the ir carbohydrates are in the form of inulin rather than starch.
Jerusalem artichokes require a long season, of at least 125 frost-free days. Optimum yields when temperatures range from 65 to 80 F (18 -26 C). Tastiest fruit in slightly alkaline soils. These plants are extremely vigorous and will compete strongly with weeks.