Sunroot (Jerusalem Artichoke) Growing Information

Cultural Directions for Sunroot (Jerusalem Artichoke)
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange does not currently sell Jerusalem Artichokes

(Helianthus tuberosus)

Jerusalem artichoke is a relative of the sunflower that produces underground white-fleshed tubers. Used by some Native Americans as a food plant, it has been cultivated, selected and improved over the years. Plants are 6 to 8' tall, perennial, very hardy,and widely adapted to various soil types and cultural conditions. The tubers taste like water chestnuts and are used fresh in salads or they can be cooked and used like potatoes. Tubers are available in different shapes, sizes, and colors.

CULTURE: In the late Fall or early Spring, plant tubers 3"-4" deep, 12"-16" apart in rows 3' apart. Since they are vigorous spreaders, they are best planted in a permanent location. If you can not plant them within a week, store them in the refrigerator until planting time.

HARVEST: Tubers are best dug starting after the first killing frost. Continue harvesting throughout the winter and spring whenever the ground is soft enough to dig.

STORAGE: Tubers are best left in the garden and dug as needed, but small amounts can be stored in the refrigerator or root cellar provided that they are not allowed to dry out.

FLAVOR AND NUTRITION NOTES: Jerusalem artichoke stores carbohydrates as inulin, a form of carbohydrate safe for diabetics. During storage the inulin is converted to other starches and acquires a sweetness over time. The sweetest tubers are harvested in late winter.

Cooking Jerusalem artichoke breaks down the inulin into sugars and makes them easier to digest.