Sunchoke/Earth Apple

Helianthus tuberosus

This large, coarse sunflower was cultivated by Great Plains Native Americans, and has spread Eastward. It attracts birds and butterflies and the edible tuber is highly nutritious and – unlike potatoes – contains no starch, but rather carbohydrates in a form that is metabolized into natural sugar. When boiled or roasted like potatoes they are delicious, or eaten raw they have a sweet, earthy, nut-like taste. The common name is a corruption of the Italian girasole, meaning “turning to the sun.”

Water: Dry, Drought Tolerant

Hardiness: Frost Hardy

Habit: Herbaceous perennial to 9' tall

Light: Full Sun

Soil: Thrives in any soil

Origin: Great plains of North America

Sunchoke/Earth Apple