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Jerusalem artichoke,tuberous-rooted perennial (Helianthus tuberosus) of the family Asteraceae (asteraster
[Gr.,=star], common name for the Asteraceae (Compositae), the aster family, in North America, name for plants of the genus Aster, sometimes called wild asters, and for a related plant more correctly called China aster (Callistephus chinensis
..... Click the link for more information. family), native to North America, where it was early cultivated by the indigenous inhabitants. In this particular case the name Jerusalem is a corruption of girasole [turning toward the sun], the Italian name for sunflowersunflower,
any plant of the genus Helianthus of the family Asteraceae (aster family), annual or perennial herbs native to the New World and common throughout the United States.
..... Click the link for more information. , of which this plant is one species. The edible tubers are somewhat potatolike, but the carbohydrate present is inulin rather than starch, and the flavor resembles that of artichokes. Jerusalem artichoke is more favored as a food plant in Europe (where it was introduced in 1616) and China than in North America, where it is most frequently grown as stock feed. The inulin is valuable also as a source of fructose for diabetics. Jerusalem artichokes are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
(Helianthus tuberosus), also girasol, a perennial tuberous plant of the family Compositae. The aboveground portion of the Jerusalem artichoke resembles a sunflower. The strong, erect stem branches terminally and is 1.2–2.5 m high (in southern regions, sometimes as high as 4 m). The petiolate leaves are ovate and pointed at the narrow tip. The root system is large and deep. White, yellow, violet, and red tubers form on the underground stems (stolons).
The Jerusalem artichoke is native to North America, where it was cultivated by the Indians before the arrival of the Europeans. It was introduced into Europe in the early 17th century. The plant is cultivated in many countries, including the USA, France, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, the Socialist Republic of Rumania, and the Hungarian People’s Republic. It has been cultivated in Russia since the 18th century. The Jerusalem artichoke is a valuable feed, industrial, and food crop. The tubers contain the soluble polysaccharide inulin (16–18 percent), nitrogenous substances (2–3 percent), vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins. They are used as food and in the industrial production of alcohol and fructose. The tubers and tops are used as livestock feed in both fresh and ensiled form. One hundred kilograms of the tubers contain 22–25 feed units and 1.5 kg of digestible protein; 100 kg of the tops contain 22–23 feed units and 1.8 kg of digestible protein. The silage and the tubers are readily eaten by cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses. The tubers are also used to feed poultry and rabbits.
In the USSR the Jerusalem artichoke is cultivated in the central and northwestern regions of the nonchernozem zone, as well as in the Baltic region. It is grown mainly for silage. The plant is cultivated on lands attached to farms or in feed crop rotations (used for four or five years). Planting is done in the spring or autumn with potato planters in clusters 70 × 70 cm or 60 × 60 cm or by plow in clusters 60 × 60 cm. Care involves loosening the in-terrow areas and the application of fertilizers. The tubers are gathered with potato-harvesting combines or with potato-digging machines. The green-mass yield is 350–500 quintals per hectare, and the tuber yield is 200–250 quintals per hectare. The tubers store well in the ground and often are dug out as needed.
REFERENCESUstimenko, G. V. Zemlianaia grusha. Moscow, 1960.
Medvedev, P. F. Vozdelyvanie zemlianoi grushi v nechernozemnoipolose. Moscow, 1963.