Useful Plants Series – Jerusalem Artichoke

Latin name: Helianthus tuberosus

There are 6 different varieties available in our SHOP.

Also known as Sunchoke or Sunroot, Jerusalem artichoke is in the sunflower family and it was first introduced to Europe in the early 18th century. It is a versatile and useful plant with it’s many uses beyond being ornamental. Plants reach 2.4meters / 7ft in height very quickly and are ideal for a pop up hedge or a wind barrier for the summer months. Tubers are plentiful and can overwinter outside in any well mulched garden. They do particularly well in no dig lasagne gardens and can even be harvested throughout the winter or left to grow in the next growing season.

Sunroots are famous for it’s edible tubers which are often referred to as earth apple. Although it’s best to wait until the carbohydrates have turned from inulin into fructose later in the winter, this makes it sweeter to taste and you will not have to find out why it is also known as ‘fartichoke’. While they had a reputation of being a poor mans food during world war 2 – being the most common food available at the time along with rutabaga (Swedes) Served, Sunroots are now being served in many restaurants as a fine delicacy in many dishes mostly roasted or in soups, also for making country wine.

References for more reading: