United States Edition

Jerusalem artichoke  

Helianthus tuberosus

Jerusalem artichoke is a plant which belongs to the Helianthus genus. The origin of this plant's scientific name epithet (tuberosus) means 'tuberous'.

A species of sunflower that grows to a height of 2-3metres and a spread of 0.60m to 1 metre and has edible tubers. It flowers in early summer and dies back in the autumn. The tubers keep well in the ground and regrowth is generally strong from these tubers. They will generally all sprout so unless thinned, new growth, and the resulting tubers will suffer due to competition.

Small tubers from thumbnail size up to 50mm x 150mm long are typical depending on growing conditions.

Pests are minimal and the plants may prove invasive if neglected. Removal is a matter of cutting the tops off and thereby starving the tuber.

The carbohydrate within the tuber is actually inulin and not starch. This is processed differently by the digestive system and does not supply as much energy after conversion. This also results in minimal impact on blood sugar levels so they are considered to be suitable for diabetics.

One down side to them as a food is that some people may be more susceptible to the wind (gas) they can produce. It may be best to introduce them slowly to the diet to allow the bodies intestinal flora to adapt.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Canary yellow. Jerusalem artichoke is a flowering edible vegetable / flower perennial, it will last at least up to several years in its native climate. Jerusalem artichoke is known for growing to a height of approximately 8.12 feet (that's 2.50 metres in metric) with a erect habit. This plant tends to bloom in late summer, followed by first harvests in late autumn. Consider Fuseau, Stampede, Härlighet ruurd and Giant white to grow as they are very popular with home gardeners.

United States is believed to be where Jerusalem artichoke originates from.

As Jerusalem artichoke is a low maintanence plant, it is great for beginner gardeners and those that like gardens that don't need much overseeing.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Jerusalem artichoke have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Jerusalem artichoke

  • Full Sun

    OR +
  • Partial Sun

  • Low

A sunny position and water. The plants harvest of tubers will adjust accordingly, less water, less and smaller tubers.

The leaves of the plant can be mildly abrasive to the skin, any plants that are in the immediate vicinity may suffer from the effect of leave rubbing.

The stalks of the sunflower are reasonably strong. If the tubers are spaced at 50+cm at planting time, the stalk will be approx 3cm in diameter. They would easily hold up a climbing bean with no ill affect, and with little detriment to the tubers. Plant the beans approx The abrasive leaves may be an issue.

If substituting for corn in 3 sister plantings, it’s been suggested to plant the squash 90cm away to allow the tubers to attain a good size.

Enjoys a full sun / partial sun position in your garden and remember to apply water fairly sparingly. Zone 4 to 10 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Keep in mind when planting that Jerusalem artichoke is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.

See our list of companion Plants for Jerusalem artichoke to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Jerusalem artichoke from seed

Grown from the tubers. Store the tubers in a cool area to avoid them from drying out.

Ensure a distance of 11.7 inches (30.0 cm) between seeds when sowing - look to sow at a depth of approximately 3.9 inches (10.0 cm).

Transplanting Jerusalem artichoke

Pick an area where they can be left to take over, or one where they can be contained.

The plants will regrow from any tubers or parts thereof that are left behind from the harvest.

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Jerusalem artichoke is a very hardy plant.

Harvesting Jerusalem artichoke

Tubers will grow radially from the plant at a depth of approx 100mm, Dig as for potatoes and eat the cut ones first!

Common Jerusalem artichoke problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Jerusalem artichoke plants:

None observed in Australia

None observed in Australia

Jerusalem artichoke Etymology

The botanical epithet is from the Latin helianthus meaning “sun-flower” The botanical epithet is from the Latin tuberosus meaning “tuberous”

Jerusalem artichoke Folklore & Trivia

The flavour is meant to be similar to Artichokes. The name Jerusalem possibly derives from the italian word for sunflower Girasole which with time adopted the pronunciation Jerusalem.

They can be known as fartichokes due to their tendency to produce wind or gas as part of the digestive process.

A liquor made in Baden-Wortthemberg, Germany, out of Jerusalem Artichoke roots is called Topinambur.

Other names for Jerusalem artichoke

Sunchoke, Sunroot, Topinambour

Latest Jerusalem artichoke Reviews

  • 30 Mar 2012

    Bdapy2 Bdapy2's Jerusalem Artichoke was Reviewed day 107

    Grew into very tall plants, bright yellow flowers, lots of tubers. Has a tendency to become invasive, a few tubers left in ground last year have produced lots of plants this year.

    3 stars

See all Jerusalem artichoke reviews and experiences »

Jerusalem artichoke care instructions

How long does Jerusalem artichoke take to grow?

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