Greenhurst Nursery & Garden Center Rotating Header Image

Jerusalem Artichoke

PDF - Download & Print Gardening Guides – Jerusalem Artichoke

This vegetable entered colonial American gardens under a very misleading common name and has suffered that handicap ever since. It is no way related to the artichoke, nor does the Jerusalem in the name have any connection with the Holy Land.

The Jerusalem artichoke came from North America. In 1616, early explorers found Native Americans using it, and carried it back to the Old World under the name Girasole, which means ‘turning to the sun’. It is thought that some mumbling of that name turned it into ‘Jerusalem’ to non-Italian ears.

European botanists classified it as Helianthus tuberosus, or tuberous sunflower. It is a perennial, growing 6 to 10 feet high, with the look or a rough sunflower.

How to Grow

Jerusalem artichokes may be grown almost anywhere in the United States. They’re practically disease free and highly prolific. Start with tubers, the same way as you would potatoes. Plant in the fall or early spring. Use 6 pieces for each 25 foot row. Cut into fourths, with each fourth embodying an eye. Plant them 4 inches deep, 1 foot apart. Leave 3 to 4 feet between rows to allow a deep rototill for prevention of spreading. Harvest the artichoke tubers after frost kills the tops or in the spring before they sprout. The harvest begins about 100 to 105 days after planting. Jerusalem artichokes can be left in the ground over winter.

Serving Ideas

Jerusalem artichokes are starch free and low calorie. You can prepare the Jerusalem in all the ways that you would potatoes Рbut with an important difference: the Jerusalem artichoke is delicious raw and never should be over-cooked. Use raw slices as a last minute garnish in clear soups. Use lightly browned tubers in salads with oil and vinegar dressing. Slowly saut̩ quartered tubers in butter, just until they are tender. They are a great substitute for water chestnuts.

PDF - Download & Print Gardening Guides – Jerusalem Artichoke