Helianthus tuberosus - Jerusalem artichoke
- $ 6.00 $ 6.00
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."
Photo credit: Syrio, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons