Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Jerusalem Artichoke - Helianthus tuberosus   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Helianthus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionWidespread across the state, becoming scarce in the outer Coastal Plain.

Native of the Plains and Prairies, the original boundaries obscure. Originally of uncertain provenance status in the eastern states, but Weakley (2018) considers it as an alien in all states east of TX, AR, and OH.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Mountains and Piedmont; uncommon in the Coastal Plain. Cultivated for the edible tubers.
HabitatRoadside ditches, moist bottomlands, along streams, disturbed ground, weedy places -- usually in moist habitats.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationJerusalem Artichoke is a fairly robust perennial from thick tuberous rhizomes, the stems 3-9 feet tall and spreading-pubescent. The leaves are well-stalked, lance-shaped to lance-ovate, acuminate, margins toothed, and the surfaces scabrous. The ray and disk florets are yellow. The combination of large well-stalked leaves and involucre bracts that spread outward will help distinguish it from others.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)The name "Jerusalem" is a misrepresentation of "girasol", Spanish word meaning to turn with the sun, as many sunflowers do. Though the common name is quite idiosyncratic, there is really no other alternative name in usage that is more descriptive -- i.e., "xxxxxx Sunflower"!
State RankSE
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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