Growing skywards…

is what this clump of plants on the bottom, southern, edge of the plot wereDSCN1782intent on doing all summer and they’ve ended up around 9 feet tall!

They bear  yellow flowers which being way up thereDSCN1762can’t really be appreciated.

This is what they look like, and yes they are sunflowers!DSCN1761They’re actually Jerusalem artichokes (helianthus tuberosus), and now that they’ve started to die back I’ll  lift some of the tubers to cook and eat.

That should be an interesting experience as I’ve never tried them before!


About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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34 Responses to Growing skywards…

  1. Ellie says:

    I didn’t realise that Jerusalem Artichokes had flowers like that! The ones I’ve seen on the allotment have never been in flower – yet I have a very similar plant in the garden that looks identical but doesn ‘t have tubers.

    They are definitely worth their space if they are that pretty. x

  2. wow, that is an artichoke? i can’t wait to hear how it tastes. the flowers are pretty enough just to grow for show.

  3. nikkipolani says:

    Hope you enjoy the Jerusalem artichoke — I understand they are pretty gnarly looking but fairly mild in flavor. Love that waving-in-the-sun shot of the flowers.

  4. menhir1 says:

    They can be a bit watery. Check out some recipes.

    Looking at the background in your picture, your plot must be one of the finest. xx

    • Flighty says:

      Menhir so I understand. I will but as I’m not much of a cook I’ll be keeping it simple!
      I only wish it were! That background shows my neighbours plots which are much tidier than mine! xx

  5. Glory says:

    Before I read down about the Jerusalem artichoke
    I was saying to myself , looks like Jerusalem artichoke, and blow me I was right..
    They are a really nice sun flower look so much nicer than the taste.
    We had them growing down the side of the garage for a few years…..
    I think you can eat them raw also.
    luv ya,,,me,,,g

    • Flighty says:

      Glory hello and thanks for stopping by! Good for you knowing what it is.
      Even if I find that it’s not to my taste I’ll grow them again next year.
      Being adventurous I’ll have a nibble of a raw one!
      Take care! xx

  6. mrs K says:

    Double whammy, beauty and food – can’t be bad.

    • Flighty says:

      Mrs K hello, I hope that all is well! Not bad at all, and even if it turns out to one out of two with me not liking the taste I’m happy that I grew them. xx

  7. Glo says:

    Flighty, that’s an amazing height. I was curious about the Jerusalem Artichokes, so I read up on them (Wikipedia excerpt) ~ the quote from the 1600’s caught my attention! Hope it doesn’t put you off!

    The tubers, which resemble ginger root, have a consistency much like potatoes, and in their raw form have a similar taste to potatoes except they are crunchier and sweeter with a slightly nutty taste. The carbohydrates give the tubers a tendency to become soft and mushy if boiled, so it is best to steam them lightly to preserve their texture. The inulin is not well digested by some people, leading in some cases to flatulence and gastric pain. Gerard’s Herbal, printed in 1621, quotes the English planter John Goodyer on Jerusalem artichokes:

    “which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men.” [8]

    • Flighty says:

      Glo they started to lean and bend a bit otherwise they would have looked even more impressive. I’ll have to remember to stake them next year.
      Thanks for that, and yes like you I’ve read up on them. It seems little wonder that they’re sometimes called ‘fartychokes’!
      I’ll shall go careful when I do eat them, especially if I find that I like the taste, in view of the possible after effects! xx

  8. you are brave, Flighty. Tell us how they taste. Will you be planting them again?

  9. renaissance says:

    Actually they taste okay but I wouldn’t say they are great favs. here. Love them for their screening ability but you do have to be so very careful where you plant.

  10. daffy says:

    Just wonderful! ;o)

  11. louise says:

    Glo’s comment made me smile! I haven’t ever eaten a Jerusalem artichoke, and I now don’t think I ever will! I would grow it for the plant alone, the flowers are lovely, and remind me of a tall variety of rudbeckia. x

    • Flighty says:

      Louise me too, although I already knew of the possible perils! I lifted a few tubers today and will probably tentatively try them on Wednesday!
      As you say they’re worth growing regardless. xx

  12. menhir1 says:

    I think you’ll find that the simplest recipes will work best with Jerusalem Artichokes, so no worries there, Mr F. xx


  13. Glo says:

    Check my blog 😉

  14. mrs K says:


    Glo did not leave a link

    I could do with a laugh out loud.

    I am doing OK, other mates not so OK – life’s ups and downs and this site always takes me to the bright side.

  15. I’ve grown fartichokes in my potager for the first time this year and they have become just as tall as yours. Recently they started flowering but being so high up it’s only the birds that can truly appreciate their sunny beauty. I haven’t lifted the tubers yet, don’t know if they are big enough yet so it’s perhaps wise to leave them in and start harvesting next year. In the meantime I can find out how you are doing with yours and if there will be a strong breeze blowing chez Flighty one of these days. 😉

    • Flighty says:

      Yolanda I only planted mine this year and I lifted one plant’s worth, about eight egg sized tubers, on Monday but not yet tried!
      It’s recommended that they not be left in the ground and the tubers replanted each year. xx

  16. Thanks for the much needed info Flighty, I’ll try and lift them tomorrow.


  17. mrs K says:


    I am going to bed with my cup of tea and a great big silly grin on my face. Yes, I did laugh out loud and was grateful that my cousin had not yet brought our last cuppa. Joan is 80 and she also laughed out loud.

    Thank you for the link. I have bookmarked it for the future.

    • Flighty says:

      Mrs K I do so love the way that Glo has of writing such wonderful verse. Let’s hope that it long continues as we can always do with a laugh like that.
      You’re most welcome! xx

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