Helenium autumnale Mariachi™ ‘Salsa’ #1 (Mariachi™ ‘Salsa’ Helen’s Flower)May 23, 2020
Heliopsis helianthoides #2 (False Sunflower)May 23, 2020
Helianthus tuberosus #2 (Sunchokes/Jerusalem Artichokes)
-Part Sun, Full Sun
-Moist to Dry Soil (FACU)
-Acidic to Neutral pH
-6-10′ Tall, Unlimited Spread
-Upright, Colonizing growth habit
-Aggressive-Plan Your Planting
-Yellow Flowers in August-September
Out of stock
Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem Artichokes, are a native perennial sunflower. They can grow to be up to 10′ tall in ideal conditions, but often end up shorter when planted in infertile or drier soil conditions. They have a large distribution across North America due to their adaptability and vigor. The rhizomes form a bounty of underground tubers which are an edible and delicious crop that can be stored in-ground until needed. The tubers have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and can be prepared in the same way as potatoes. They do not contain starch, making them a better choice for diabetics. The tubers do contain inulin, an indigestible carbohydrate, which produces flatulence in some people. They can be harvested in late winter after most of the inulin has been converted to fructose, and many baking methods also accomplish this. This recipe for Smashed Sunchokes with Thyme-Butter is a delicious and easy way to try this native root vegetable!
Sunchokes are mainly grown for the nearly effortless production and extended harvest of the tubers, but the flowers are very ornamental as well, with a chocolatey fragrance. This is not an ornamental for small gardens, however, as it spreads aggressively from the rhizomatous root system. Once it is planted somewhere, it is very difficult to get rid of it because even small pieces of the tubers result in full-grown plants. The planting of a Sunchoke patch must be planned out prior to establishment to avoid being overtaken by them. Consider using a soil barrier or raised bed if space is an issue.
Aside from the human uses, Helianthus species provide much bee-loved flower nectar and pollen for some 50 specialist bee species, seeds for birds such as chickadees and finches, and are a host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot, and Painted Lady butterflies, among others.
Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James A. Duke
Native Plant Agriculture by Indigenous Landscapes
Missouri Botanical Garden
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Tubers Detail: Earendil, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Flower Detail: Jamplevia, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mature Individual: Cruiser, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons