Meet the mysterious Jerusalem artichoke - all about this vegetable

 Meet the mysterious Jerusalem artichoke - all about this vegetable

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Jerusalem artichoke is a type of perennial herb, with small yellow flowers similar to those of a sunflower. It is an unpretentious and fast-growing plant with a high nutritional value. In the article you will read what it is, you will see a photo of the plant.

Also here you will find useful information about where this plant grows, how it differs from sweet potato, what elements are included in its composition and whether it is used in treatment and how. In addition, it will tell you how to grow Jerusalem artichoke and how to store it.

What does a fruit look like, is it a vegetable or fruit?

Jerusalem artichoke tuber is a modified shoot, the stem of which is thickened... Tubers serve a range of functions, from storing nutrients and water, to vegetative propagation and protection from being eaten. In terms of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, Jerusalem artichoke is a typical vegetable, not a fruit. It resembles a potato in appearance, color and size, but tastes sweeter.

What else is it called?

Jerusalem artichoke got its name from the tribe of the Brazilian Indians Tupinamba, who cultivated this culture since ancient times. This wonderful plant can be found under other names:

  • Jerusalem artichoke, although it has nothing to do with Jerusalem, and the name comes from Italian. girasole - sunflower.
  • Earthen pear, by analogy with potatoes (earthen apple), since in shape the Jerusalem artichoke tubers resemble a pear.
  • Sunflower tuberous and sun root it is called for its amazingly beautiful flowers, similar to those of a sunflower.


It is a beautiful, tall plant with yellow flowers and abundant greenery.

Botanical description and photo of the plant

Jerusalem artichoke is a long-term close relative of sunflower... Which family does it belong to? Jerusalem artichoke belongs to the genus of sunflower and the Aster family.

Structure and biological features

Has a straight, pubescent stem with dense green foliage... It reaches a height of 4 meters. The lower leaves are pubescent, cordate-ovate, opposite; the upper leaves are elongated-ovate, alternate. The inflorescences are yellow baskets, 6-10 cm in diameter. The color of the corollas is yellow or orange-yellow (read more about how Jerusalem artichoke blooms and how to use flowers in folk recipes, read here).

Fertilization occurs both by self-pollination and by cross-pollination. In the nest there are several stems (usually from 1 to 3), up to 30 tubers on short stolons, collected compactly. Roots at a depth of 10-15 cm diverge horizontally up to 4 m, and vertically - up to a meter, allowing plants to withstand dry periods. The fruit is achene, grayish-brown in color.

Jerusalem artichoke can grow in the same place for a very long time., about 30 years old. Tubers vary in color in different varieties, and can be white, yellow, pink, purple, red, with delicate pulp and a pleasant sweetish taste.

How and where does it grow?

Now Jerusalem artichoke is grown in:

  • England.
  • Canada.
  • Japan.
  • Kazakhstan.
  • Germany.
  • USA.
  • Australia.
  • Russia.

It grows well both in the northern regions and in the subtropical... Where does it grow in Russia? In Russia, Jerusalem artichoke is cultivated (albeit slightly) mainly in the European part of the country. Jerusalem artichoke is unpretentious and grows easily in almost any soil, sufficiently enriched with oxygen and moisture. Brings an excellent harvest in all weather conditions, it has practically no pests and does not require much maintenance.

How is it different from sweet potato?

According to the description, Jerusalem artichoke can be confused with sweet potatoes, but after understanding it, it is easy to understand that these are completely different plants. Sweet potato is a herbaceous vine with long, creeping stems-lashes, rooting in nodes. The height of the bush is 15-18 cm, and the Jerusalem artichoke has long stems, ranging in height from 1.5 to 4 meters. Sweet potato tubers are smoother and thicker.

Read more about the difference between sweet potato and Jerusalem artichoke in our article.

History of origin and homeland

The first began to cultivate Jerusalem artichoke in antiquity, the tribes of the Indians from Chile, therefore, the birthplace of its growth is North America. There the plant is found in the wild, but its natural range is almost impossible to establish. Jerusalem artichoke was brought to Europe at the beginning of the 16th century, through France, and then it spread throughout the world.

Chemical composition

The sun root contains about 3% protein, as well as about 20% soluble inulin polysaccharide, 3% nitrogenous substances.

  • Nutritional value 61 kcal per 100 g.
  • Protein 2.1 gr.
  • Fat 0.1 gr.
  • Carbohydrates 12.8g
  • Dietary fiber 4.5 gr.
  • Organic acids 0.1 gr.
  • Water 79 gr.
  • Mono- and disaccharides 3.2 gr.
  • Starch 9.6gr.
  • Ash 1.4 gr.
  • Minerals: Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Phosphorus (P), Magnesium (Mg), Iron (Fe).
  • Basic vitamins: B1, B2, B6, C, PP.

We talked about the calorie content, chemical composition, content of BZHU, as well as the benefits and dangers of Jerusalem artichoke here.

Benefit and harm

First of all, its benefits are noticeable in the treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus.... Since it contains a high percentage of inulin, glucose levels naturally stabilize. In addition, the root vegetable:

  • strengthens the heart by eliminating potassium deficiency;
  • enhances immunity;
  • normalizes digestion;
  • cleanses the body;
  • improves vision;
  • useful for hypertension;
  • has a diuretic effect;
  • improves mood.

The harm of Jerusalem artichoke is still not fully understood. At the moment, this product is considered absolutely safe, in the absence of hypersensitivity to it.

We wrote in this article about the benefits of Jerusalem artichoke and whether it can harm the body.

Contraindications for use

Although Jerusalem artichoke has a number of useful properties, it is undesirable to use it in the presence of intolerance to its constituent substances. It can also cause flatulence, and people with a tendency to do so are not advised to consume it raw.


Jerusalem artichoke is used in the treatment of stomach diseases, colitis, gastritis, pancreatitis, heart disease, as well as cancer. The aboveground part of Jerusalem artichoke also has medicinal properties.

  • Application of flowers... Taking an infusion of flowers can: purify the blood, get rid of heartburn, lower blood pressure, cope with headaches, inflammation and spasms in the gastrointestinal tract.

    With anemia, flu, colds, you can drink tea from Jerusalem artichoke flowers.

  • Application of leaves... Leaves plucked before flowering are no less useful. Regularly taking baths with a decoction of the leaves and young stems of Jerusalem artichoke, you can rid the body of excess salts, bursitis, osteochondrosis, arthritis and atherosclerosis of the vessels of the legs. Juice and decoctions of stems and leaves accelerate wound healing. In the form of a tincture, flowers are used for heart diseases and to prevent angina attacks. Jerusalem artichoke greens are also used for livestock feed and are an excellent basis for the production of compound feed.
  • Juice application... The juice from the tubers is useful for all diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and internal organs, as well as for gout and arthritis. The drink is widely used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels, anemia, urolithiasis, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and disorders of fat metabolism. And the juice from the stems is suitable for obtaining molasses.
  • Application of tubers... Tubers are used both cooked: boiled, fried and stewed, and raw. A variety of salads and drinks are prepared from them: coffee, compotes and tea. Inulin, alcohol, fructose are industrially produced from Jerusalem artichoke tubers (how is Jerusalem artichoke root useful?).

The earthen pear can be dried. This is done either on an industrial scale in special drying ovens for the production of powder and fiber, or at home. The tubers are cleaned, cut into thin slices and dried on an open surface, out of sunlight, at room temperature, or using a heli-dryer. Within about 4 days.

You can also dry it in your home oven; for this, the tubers are first blanched with the addition of soda and salt. Then it is cut into thin slices and placed in a preheated oven, dried for about 3 hours at a temperature in the range of 50-60 degrees with constant stirring. Learn more about the healing properties of dried Jerusalem artichoke, how to prepare it and use it for treatment here.

Jerusalem artichoke syrup is not the most famous and popular product in the world. Meanwhile, it can be a healthy substitute for sweets because the syrup is incredibly tasty. What benefits and harm can bring the use of this product, as well as about the healing properties of flowers and vegetable roots - read on our website.

Varieties and types

There are about 300 varieties of earthen pear, with different yields of hay from 1 hectare, ripening time and decorativeness. The main varieties of Jerusalem artichoke that are cultivated today in Russia are Skorospelka, which ripens in September, and Interest in November. In addition, such varieties are also known as:

  • Volzhsky 2.
  • Leningradsky.
  • Vylgortsky.
  • Find.
  • Hybrid with sunflower, with a high content of nutrients - Jerusalem artichoke.

You can find out more about the types and varieties of Jerusalem artichoke, as well as see their photos here.


Jerusalem artichoke is planted in autumn or early spring. (read about when to plant Jerusalem artichoke in different regions). Use both whole and cut tubers (only in spring). Planting depth depends on the soil: 6-8 cm on heavy soils, 8-10 cm on light soils. In autumn planting, the planting depth increases by 2-3 cm. Organic or mineral fertilizers are applied before planting.

About growing root crops

Earthen pear tubers begin to form at a temperature of 4-6 ° C, while the optimum temperature is 8-12 ° C. The tubers are well resistant to frost, which is explained by the high content of inulin and partly sugar in them. Tolerates both high and low temperatures.

Jerusalem artichoke does not require abundant watering... The optimum soil moisture is 50-60%. It tolerates dry periods well, as it has a well-developed root system.

This plant prefers a short day. Long daylight hours delay the appearance of inflorescences, so in the southern regions it blooms late and the seeds often do not have time to ripen. At the same time, in the initial period of development, it prefers a lot of light.

The type of soil also does not have a strong effect on growth.unless it is highly acidic or waterlogged soils. The most suitable are light fertile soils - sandy loam and loamy. In fertile soils, Jerusalem artichoke gives a rich harvest. The maximum yield of green mass is 150 t / ha, tubers - 232 t / ha.

We talked more about growing Jerusalem artichoke and the rules for planting an unpretentious root crop in this article.

Harvesting and storage

Jerusalem artichoke is harvested both in autumn and spring.

Advice! Optionally, you can remove half of the tubers in the fall, and the other half in the spring. The tubers remaining in the soil are well preserved under the snow. In this case, it is better to cover the ridges with straw or material. As soon as the snow melts, they begin the spring harvest.

It is better to store tubers in basements or pits. To do this, after cleaning, they are folded into boxes with sand or wet sawdust and lowered into the cellar, where they are stored at a temperature of + 1 ° C to + 4 ° C. In an apartment, it is best to store crops on the balcony, in bags of sand or sawdust.

We told you in detail about when to dig up Jerusalem artichoke and how to store it correctly here.

Diseases and pests

Jerusalem artichoke tubers can start eating slugs... In the fight against these pests, anti-slug pellets, which are laid out around the plants at the beginning of the season, can help.

A bear can also eat tubers. If there are a lot of insects (scoop, May beetles) at the planting site, add foxim or diazonon to the soil before planting Jerusalem artichoke.

In addition to pests, Jerusalem artichoke can affect diseases such as white rot or sclerotinosis. They damage the stems of Jerusalem artichoke at the base, with the formation of white mold on them. When black growths appear inside the stems, the plants must be removed and burned.

How to get out of the garden?

Getting rid of Jerusalem artichoke is very difficult.... It is best to use several types of wrestling at the same time:

  1. Dig up the ground thoroughly and take out all the tubers.
  2. Treat the area with a composting agent, cover it with boards and foil on top, so that a minimum of light penetrates.
  3. With the beginning of the new season, if new seedlings appear, it is necessary to treat the area with Roundup.

Benefits for children

Jerusalem artichoke will be useful not only for adults, but also for children... Jerusalem artichoke is introduced into the menu of babies no earlier than 1.5 years old, preferably stewed. You can cook soups, stews with Jerusalem artichoke. Raw tubers are recommended to be given
only from 3 years old.

With regular use, it heals the body and strengthens the immune system.

Can be used by animals?

Earthen pear is widely used as feed for various animals., cows, bulls, pigs, chickens and rabbits. When using such feed, weight gain, milk yield and egg production increase.

Thanks to such a wide range of applications, the Jerusalem artichoke is growing in popularity in the modern world. Unpretentiousness and useful properties allow every gardener to use it, both for preparing delicious dishes and for treating many diseases.

Read more about whether you can give Jerusalem artichoke to rabbits and other pets in our article.

We invite you to watch a video dedicated to Jerusalem artichoke:

Watch the video: Prophet Mike and the Jerusalem Artichoke (August 2022).