Open the Advanced Search

Jerusalem Artichoke

Helianthus tuberosus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
The bright yellow, sunflower-like flowers are between 5 and 10cm (2 to 4 inches) in diameter. 10 to 20 ray florets and at least 60 disc florets. Pollinated by flies and bees.
The fruit is dry, hairy and one-seeded. The seed is dark brown and mottled. It is about 5mm long and 2mm wide. The seeds ripen in November.
Rough, hairy leaves which appear in opposite pairs. They are broadly ovate with a pointed tip. The upper leaves are smaller and more narrow. Similar in appearance to Perennial Sunflower (Helianthus x laetiflorus) only that it has more sharply-toothed leaf margins and winged stalks. Perennial.
Jerusalem artichokes, known as "sunchokes" in the UK, do not possess a strong or distinctive fragrance. Their aroma is relatively neutral, and they are often praised for their ability to absorb and complement the flavours of other ingredients in various dishes. This subtlety in fragrance allows them to be versatile in culinary applications, lending themselves to both savoury and sweet preparations without overwhelming the overall aroma of the meal.
Other Names:
Canada Potato, Earth Apple, Girasole, India Potato, Pignut, Sunchoke, Sunroot.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Helianthus tuberosus, also known as Jerusalem artichoke or sunroot, is a perennial plant that is native to North America. It belongs to the sunflower family and is known for its tall, yellow flowers and edible tubers. Helianthus tuberosus is a tall plant that can reach heights of up to 10 feet (3 meters) and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens or for food production. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climates. Helianthus tuberosus prefers full sun and is drought-tolerant once established. The plant is generally hardy and low maintenance, but it can be prone to pests such as aphids and slugs. Helianthus tuberosus is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the safety and effectiveness of using it medicinally.


Jerusalem artichokes, also known as Helianthus tuberosus, are a type of perennial sunflower that are native to North America. They are known for their edible tubers, which are similar in taste and texture to potatoes.

One of the great things about Jerusalem artichokes is that they are incredibly easy to grow. They can be planted in any well-drained soil and thrive in full sun. They are also hardy and can survive harsh winters, making them a great crop for colder climates.

In terms of culinary uses, Jerusalem artichokes can be prepared in a variety of ways. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often roasted, sautéed, or puréed. They can also be used as a potato substitute in dishes such as gratin and mashed potatoes. They are also a great source of inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that can help promote healthy digestion.

One thing to keep in mind when cooking with Jerusalem artichokes is that they can discolor quickly after being cut. To prevent this, you can place them in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Overall, Jerusalem artichokes are a versatile and nutritious addition to any garden or menu. They are easy to grow, can be prepared in many ways, and are a great source of inulin. If you haven't tried them before, give them a try and discover a new way to enjoy sunflower.

In addition to their delicious taste and easy growth, Jerusalem artichokes also have a number of potential health benefits. They are a good source of potassium, iron, and vitamin C, and they also contain antioxidants that can help protect against cellular damage. They are also low in calories, making them a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.

Another benefit of Jerusalem artichokes is that they are a sustainable crop. They are a hardy and resilient plant that can be grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. They also have a deep root system that helps to improve soil health and prevent erosion.

When it comes to harvesting Jerusalem artichokes, they are typically ready to be dug up in the fall, after the tops of the plants have died back. The tubers can be stored in a cool, dark place for several months, making them a great crop for preserving for later use.

Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are a unique and lesser-known vegetable that deserve more recognition. They are a great addition to any garden and can be planted in the spring or fall. They are also very low maintenance, hardy and can grow in most soil types. They are a great crop for those who want to enjoy gardening but do not have a lot of time to spare.

In terms of culinary uses, Jerusalem artichokes are very versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often roasted, sautéed, or puréed. They can also be used in soups, stews, and salads. One thing to keep in mind when cooking with Jerusalem artichokes is that they can discolor quickly after being cut. To prevent this, you can place them in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

The tubers have a unique, nutty, sweet and earthy flavor. They are a great source of inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that can help promote healthy digestion. They are also a good source of potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Jerusalem artichokes are also low in calories and contain antioxidants that can help protect against cellular damage.

Another benefit of growing Jerusalem artichokes is that they are a sustainable crop. They are hardy, resilient and can be grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. They also have a deep root system that helps to improve soil health and prevent erosion.

In conclusion, Jerusalem artichokes are a delicious, nutritious and sustainable crop that can be easily grown in any garden. They are versatile in the kitchen and can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. They are also a great source of inulin and other nutrients, and can help promote healthy digestion. Give them a try and discover a new way to enjoy sunflower.

30 Interesting Facts About the Jerusalem Artichoke

Here are 30 interesting facts about Jerusalem artichoke:

  1. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is not an artichoke, nor is it related to Jerusalem. It is a type of sunflower native to North America.

  2. The name "Jerusalem" may be a corruption of the Italian word for sunflower, "girasole."

  3. It is also known by other names, including sunchoke, sunroot, and earth apple.

  4. Jerusalem artichokes produce edible tubers that are knobby and irregularly shaped, similar in appearance to ginger or potatoes.

  5. The tubers have a sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of artichoke, which is how they got their name.

  6. These tubers can be eaten raw, but they are most commonly cooked and can be roasted, boiled, mashed, or used in soups and stews.

  7. They are a good source of inulin, a type of soluble fiber that can be beneficial for gut health.

  8. Jerusalem artichokes are low in calories and fat, making them a healthy addition to your diet.

  9. They are high in potassium, iron, and several B vitamins.

  10. Jerusalem artichokes are often used as a potato substitute for those looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake.

  11. The plant can grow to be quite tall, with some varieties reaching up to 12 feet in height.

  12. The yellow, sunflower-like flowers of Jerusalem artichoke are attractive and can make a nice addition to gardens.

  13. It is a hardy and perennial plant that can grow in a variety of soil types.

  14. Jerusalem artichokes can become invasive if not properly controlled, as they spread through underground rhizomes.

  15. They were cultivated by Native Americans long before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

  16. The tubers were a significant food source for various Native American tribes.

  17. In the 17th century, Jerusalem artichokes were introduced to Europe and gained popularity as a food crop.

  18. Thomas Jefferson is said to have grown Jerusalem artichokes at Monticello.

  19. In the 19th century, Jerusalem artichokes were commonly used as animal feed.

  20. The plant's scientific name, Helianthus tuberosus, reflects its relationship to sunflowers (Helianthus) and its tuberous growth.

  21. Jerusalem artichokes are often considered a hardy and resilient crop, capable of surviving harsh weather conditions.

  22. They have a rapid growth rate, with some varieties reaching maturity in just a few months.

  23. The tubers are harvested in the fall after the plant has died back.

  24. Jerusalem artichokes can be used to make pickles, chips, and even alcoholic beverages.

  25. The plant's stalks can be used as a natural trellis for vining plants like beans and cucumbers.

  26. Some people experience flatulence and digestive discomfort when consuming Jerusalem artichokes due to their inulin content.

  27. The plant's leaves and stems are not commonly consumed but can be toxic in large quantities.

  28. Jerusalem artichoke has been studied for its potential as a biofuel crop due to its high biomass production.

  29. It is a source of habitat and food for various wildlife, including deer and small mammals.

  30. The versatility of Jerusalem artichokes in cooking and their nutritional value make them an intriguing addition to culinary endeavors and diets.


Jerusalem Artichoke filmed in Adlington, Lancashire on the 9th September 2023.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map