Dr. Joe Masabni
Department of Horticulture
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
The Jerusalem artichoke is in no way related to the globe artichoke. It is a member of the Sunflower family and produces a similar flower. Plants may grow to a height of 6 to 8 feet. It is a perennial living from year to year. The edible tubers resemble potatoes but are rough and knobby.
The Jerusalem artichoke is widely grown in Texas gardens. It is propagated by spring planting of tubers. Harvest the tubers in the fall for highest quality and refrigerate them immediately. Tubers left in the ground over winter will retain high eating quality for several months without developing sugar. Plants freeze but will grow back in the spring. It can rapidly become a weed.
Look for tubers that are free of bruises and cracks. Avoid those that are wilted and lack a firm, solid texture. Jerusalem artichoke tubers do not store as well as potatoes. Where the ground does not freeze in winter, it is best to leave them in the ground and harvest as needed. Place the ones you buy in a sealed plastic bag and store them in refrigeration. Long term storage at temperatures near freezing results in the conversion of starch to sugar, causing them to have an off flavor.