Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) is a species of sunflower native to central North America. Also sometimes called wild sunflower, sunroot or sunchoke.
As a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) they make beautiful additions to the garden, producing lovely bright yellow, sunflower-like flowers throughout the summer months which attract an abundance of bees and butterflies. Unlike common annual sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes are perennials, dying back each winter to burst forth again during mid to late spring with the warmer weather.
The knobby potato like tuber is edible and is best prepared as you would a regular potato, by boiling and mashing or roasting.
The plants can grow up to 2 metres tall and should be sheltered from very strong winds. If you are planting in an ornamental garden it is recommended to plant them behind small shrubs so that the tall flowers can be seen but they are hidden as the plant dies back during late autumn.
The tubers are best planted out during winter when the plants are dormant.