Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke is a species of plant from the genus Helianthus and is cultivated for its root tubers – the pear pears.

Also known as:
Earth apple
Sunchoke
Sunroot
Topinambur

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recognize Jerusalem artichoke
Photo: Paul Fenwick - CC BY-SA 3.0

Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is a species of plant in the genus Helianthus. This perennial is grown in the vegetable garden for its root tubers: Jerusalem artichokes. Blooms with yellow flowers in warm summers; grows into sturdy plants of over two meters (depending on the species).

Strong crop, little susceptible to diseases and pests.

Bugs

Feeds on the tubers: slug.

Newly set plants are bitten through the stem: cutworm (Agrotis).

Fungi & diseases

Gray brown colored rotten spots on the roots: White mold (sclerotinia).

Wet, rotten spots at the bottom of the stem: Root rot (Fusarium solani).

Other

Jerusalem artichoke might be a weed problem. It spreads by rhizomes, and is also self-seeding. Once in the garden it proves difficult to remove. Any tiny piece of the root left in the soil produces new plants.