The Main Plant entry for Sunroots (Helianthus tuberosus)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Sunroots.

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Jerusalem Artichoke
Give a thumbs up Sunroot
Give a thumbs up Sunchoke

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 36 - 72 inches
Plant Spread: 18 - 24 inches
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Vegetable
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Roots
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Pollinators: Flies
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

#Pollination - The #Butterflies love this plant.

Photo gallery:

This plant is tagged in:
Image Image

Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Jan 15, 2012 1:27 PM

Plant often grown for its nutty-tasting tubers. Tubers can be cooked like potatoes, sliced, and added to salads, or even pickled. Tubers grow best in sandy soils.
Fairly common wildflower in Illinois. Grows naturally in moist ground bordering woods, thickets, and prairie draws. Also, along streams, roadsides, and RR right of ways.
4" diameter yellow flowers top these 7 to 9' tall plants August through October.
The Jerusalem part of common name is from girasole, Italian for 'sunflower'.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by Skiekitty (Denver Metro - Zone 5a) on Jul 12, 2013 8:53 AM

When I bought my house in '05, this plant was growing in the front yard near the street. It was a nice sunflower type of plant, so I decided that I'd let it grow. No harm in letting it grow where it was. I never water it, I never feed it, I never take care of it, and it comes back every single year faithfully in the same spot. It's not invasive in my area and the flowers last 4-6 weeks (mid-late summer to mid fall). I haven't found anything to detract from it, so it stays. Anything that grows wild in my yard & produces pretty flowers like this deserves a spot!

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by webesemps (Salem OR - Zone 8a) on Jan 4, 2014 12:58 PM

I have never grown Jerusalem Artichoke (sun chokes), but I discovered them recently at the supermarket and now they have replaced the artichoke in my boiling pot. I find that the sun chokes taste almost like artichoke hearts, but there's no need to deal with the leaves and the prickly beard near the heart. Eating sun chokes is like getting artichokes hearts' taste and texture but without the fuss.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by SCButtercup (Simpsonville SC - Zone 7b) on Aug 24, 2014 5:30 AM

Hummingbirds love these! Extremely tough plant, but needs to be grown where it won't be a nuisance. I put mine next to my deck. The railing gives support to the beautiful 6-8 foot flowering plants. Usually, by July I have to run some twine around them and tie them to the deck to keep them from flopping. As we sit on the deck, we enjoy the flowers and hummingbirds, which are probably eating insects. Then in the fall the roots are food! It's a great plant as long as you take care in siting it.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Sep 29, 2011 6:12 PM

Honey bees get nectar from this plant

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 23, 2014 5:29 PM

Sunroots or Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is a larval host plant for the Spring Azure and Silvery Checkerspot Butterflies. It also has special value to native bees and to wildlife. Deer and other mammals enjoy its foliage and roots, and its seedheads are enjoyed by birds. Native to North America, this plant can spread aggressively.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Plant Events from our members
thomas On February 15, 2016 Plant emerged
The container plants emerged first. The in-ground plants started to emerge a couple of days later.
thomas On December 29, 2015 Transplanted
Planted tubers in the ground and in containers.
gochna On October 9, 2020 Obtained plant
transplanted from the wild location along the road
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What are these plants? by Riyam Nov 5, 2020 4:23 PM 6
? North Florida in September? by terrafirma Sep 23, 2020 3:47 PM 2
Growing your own tobacco (from A to Z) by NickyNick Jul 28, 2020 7:49 AM 97
Crown Apple Tree by NickyNick Nov 7, 2019 6:40 PM 32
Thistle by Steve812 May 5, 2017 5:48 AM 24
Grows tall. Wild. Blooming in Virginia right now. by thelackof Sep 22, 2016 9:13 AM 27
Believe may be a type of sunflower can anyone help? by ScottD Sep 1, 2016 7:42 PM 6
Lawn overrun with Sunflowers, How to start over? by GTower Aug 6, 2016 9:11 AM 7
Annual ID by Zazinnia Jul 29, 2016 1:25 PM 6
Weeds, can we appreciate them? by LindaTX8 Dec 5, 2019 7:06 PM 102

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by Lucius93 and is called "Bulgarian Honey Garlic"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.