Species Detail

Helianthus tuberosus L.
Jerusalem artichoke

Scientific Name:  
Helianthus tuberosus L.
Common Name:  
Jerusalem artichoke
Myaamia Name:  
Food, Medicinal
Harvest Seasons:  
Summer, Spring
Oak Forest including Oak-Hickory, Beech-Oak-Maple Mixed Mesophytic, Conifer Shrubland and Forest
Growth Forms:  
Tree, Vine

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Helianthus tuberosus L.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
Perrot, Nicolas 1864 Use - Food  tubers eaten; called "Indian potatoes" and "the Jerusalem artichoke Helianthus tuberosa appears to me to meet his Perrots description more nearly than any other plant; and its tubers were eaten by the Indians"
Rafert, S. 1989, August 24-25 Use - Food  "As soon as they found out about it; they used the Jerusalem artichoke; but they didnt have em native here in this country."
Pease, Theodore Calvin and Raymond C. Werner 1934 Use - Food  "They also store up onions; as big as Jerusalem artichokes; which they find in the prairies; and which I find better than all the other roots. They are sugary and pleasing to the palate. They are cooked like macopines"
Charlevoix, P. 1923 Use - Food  sunflowers are grown as a crop; probably indicating the jerusalem artichoke
Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Food/Medicinal  oil from the seeds is used for rubbing on the skin. "The Indians make no other use of the turnsoles; but to extract from them an oil with which they rub themselves: this is more commonly drawn from the seeds than from the root of this plant. This root differs little from what we call in France topinambours or apples of the earth [this plant is probably jerusalem artichoke]"
Dunn, J.P. Circa 1900 Use - Food  tubers eaten. onzapakataki"; "indian potatoes"
Tippman, D. 2005, February 27 Use - Food  tubers gathered; cooked and eaten
Rafert, S. 1989, August 24-25 Horticultural Info  "But as soon as they found out about them they cultivated them and used them."
Charlevoix, P. 1923 Horticultural Info  Sunflowers; along with watermelons and gourds are first sprouted in a hot-bed and then transplanted into crop fields
Botanical Sources  
Helianthus tuberosus L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
Gleason, H.A. & Cronquist, A. 1991   Occurs in moist soils and disturbed areas fencerows throughout easstern and western Miami lands
Related Sources  
Helianthus tuberosus L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
Clark, J.E. 1993   The Shawnee collected this plant for food
McPherson, Alan and Sue McPherson. 1977   Many Indian tribes of North America used the tubers of this plant for food. Sometimes; archaeologists are able to locate the sites of old Indian villages by the presence of large stands of Jerusalem artichoke plants. Spanish explorers brought this plant back to Europe where it was cultivated and sold as girasol; the spanish word for sunflower. The English incorrectly tranformed girasol to Jerusalem; and the artichoke part of the name comes presumably from the tubers taste
Bush, L. L 1996   Archaeological studies have demonstrated that sunflowers [including a variety of Helianthus spp.] were either cultivated or "strongly encouraged in wild stands" as a food resource by Late Woodland prior to 700 A.D indigenous peoples of central and southern Indiana