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Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke) | NPIN
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Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke)
Bloodworth, Stefan

Helianthus tuberosus

Helianthus tuberosus L.

Jerusalem artichoke, Sunchoke

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Helianthus tomentosus, Helianthus tuberosus var. subcanescens

USDA Symbol: HETU

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A large, robust yellow sunflower with broad, thick leaves and rough, hairy stems. Stout, rough, branching stems bear large golden-yellow flower heads. Flower heads with yellow rays and disks are numerous in the upper portions of the 6-10 ft. perennial.

This large, coarse sunflower was cultivated by Native Americans of the Great Plains and has spread eastward. The edible tuber is highly nutritious and, unlike potatoes, contains no starch, but rather carbohydrate in a form that is metabolized into natural sugar. In 1805 Lewis and Clark dined on the tubers, prepared by a native woman, in what is now North Dakota. Today they are sold in produce markets stores and, when boiled or roasted like potatoes, are delicious. Raw, they have a sweet, nut-like taste. The common name is a corruption of the Italian girasole, meaning turning to the sun.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Yellow-Green
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: ON , SK
Native Distribution: Ont. to GA, w. to Sask., n.e. WY & e. TX; naturalized elsewhere & may be naturalized in the eastern part of stated range
Native Habitat: Waste places; thickets; woodland borders

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist to drying soil.
Conditions Comments: Jerusalem artichoke is aggressive and escapes from garden settings.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Foliage and tubers are eaten by livestock and deer. Seed heads attract birds. The plant provides cover for wildlife.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

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National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU FACU FACU FACU FACU FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.6 - Wildflower Center Featured Non-Profit in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Dana Leav...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Helianthus tuberosus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Helianthus tuberosus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Helianthus tuberosus

Metadata

Record Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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