Entry Detail

Jerusalem artichoke

Entry Type:  
Scientific Name:  
Common Name:  
Jerusalem artichoke
Myaamia Name:  
Harvest Seasons:  
Summer, Spring
Oak Forest including Oak-Hickory, Beech-Oak-Maple Mixed Mesophytic, Conifer Shrubland and Forest

Media not available.
Myaamia Archival Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
Rafert, S. 1989 Use - Food 

"As soon as they found out about it, they used the Jerusalem artichoke, but they didn't have 'em native here in this country".

Pease, T. C. and R. 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" ("Elles amassent aussi des oignons gros comme des Topiniamboures, qu'elles trouvent dans les prairies que je trouve meilleures que toutes les autres Racines, ils sont sucre et font plaisir a manger on les fait cuire comme les Macopines").

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".

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Food 

Sunflowers are grown as a crop, probably indicating the jerusalem artichoke.

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Horticultural Info 

Sunflowers, along with watermelons and gourds are first sprouted in a hot-bed and then transplanted into crop fields.

Rafert, S. 1989 Horticultural Info 

"But as soon as they found out about them they cultivated them and used them".

Gonella, M.P 2003-2006 Use - Food 

Tubers gathered, cooked and eaten.

Dunn, J.P. 1919 Use - Food 

Tubers eaten, called "Indian potatoes";  "the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosa) appears to me to meet his [Perrot's] description more nearly than any other plant, and its tubers were eaten by the Indians".

Dunn, J.P. ca. 1900 Use - Food 

Tubers of this plant were eaten. "onzapäkatäkĭ", "indian potatoes".

Chubey, B. and D. Dorrell 1983 Related Info 

Total reducing sugar content increased as tubers enlarged in the fall and decreased in the spring when stem sprouts began to elongate. Fructose content decreased as fall progressed, but remained stable as spring progressed. Best to harvest through fall until ground freezes, and as soon as ground thaws in spring to eliminate much storage and resulting loss of sugar content.

Botanical Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Data Comments
Gleason, H.A. and Cronquist, A. 1991 Habitat 

Occurs in moist soils in disturbed areas and fencerows throughout eastern and western Myaamia lands.

Related Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Data Comments
McPherson, A. and S. 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.

Clark, J.E 1993  

The Shawnee collected this plant for food.

Bush L. L. 2003  

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.