Artichoke, Jerusalem

Helianthus tuberosus
Family: Asteraceae

Related to the sunflower, this plant comes from North America where it was first cultivated by the native Americans in the 18th century. It then spread to Europe, acquiring the label 'Jerusalem' from an English interpretation of the Italian name for the plant, girasole, meaning 'turn towards the sun'. It is not an artichoke, but its potato-like tuber has a similar taste. The tubers can be baked, roasted, boiled, or simply grated.


Jerusalem artichokes do well in a normal garden soil but about half a cup of potash-enriched, complete fertilizer should be applied to the soil around each plant. The soil must be dug deeply. They can grow in sun or shade, but need plenty of water during the growing season. As with the globe artichoke, remove all weeds. The tubers should be harvested four to five weeks after flowering, or when the top wilts. Tubers can be planted in the autumn or the spring, to a depth of 10-15 cm (4-6 in) and between 30 and 75 cm (12-30 in) apart.


Very hardy; Jerusalem artichokes grow in zone 4 and above.

Artichoke, Globe      Arum