Helianthus tuberosus – SunChoke
An erect, rhizomatous herbaceous perennial herb, which grows up to about 3 m high. Mainly grown for its edible tuber for both people and livestock, the Jerusalem Artichoke is a high yielder with each tuber capable of producing 75 – 200 tubers a year in good soil. It also produces stalks and leaves which are highly palatable to livestock and should be fed or foraged prior to the small sunflower like flowers developing as the stems become woody. These stalks are often used as compost carbon, but the plant can deplete soils so it is best grown with mineral accumulators or fed yearly. The stalks and leaves can be harvested for fodder throughout the growing season but this drastically lowers the production of tubers. While the plants are hardy in most environments they are considered frost tender, though the tubers will survive and grow back. Jerusalem Artichokes have also been used as a pioneer species on damaged ground.
Uses: Edible tuber, Fodder/forage, Bee plant, Compost Carbon, Summer Shelter.