The Q&A Archives: Jerusalem Artichokes

Question: Are Jerusalem artichokes really the root of the sun flower plant? Meaning can you grow sunflowers and harvest the root as Jerusalem artichokes?

Answer: Jerusalem artichokes are members of the helianthus (sunflower) family (Helianthus tuberosus to be exact). Common sunflowers are annuals, grown for their large flower heads and the seeds they contain. Jerusalem artichokes are perennials, grown for their edible tuberous roots. The plants will develop bright yellow sunflower-like flowers during the summer months, but don't expect to harvest seeds like you would from annual sunflowers. The roots of annual sunflowers are not edible. So, to get both edible tubers and sunflower seeds, you'll need to grow annual sunflowers and perennial Jerusalem artichokes.

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