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A Jerusalem artichoke is a white-fleshed root vegetable that is related to the Sunflower. The plant is upright, tall-growing with bristly woody stems, green pointed leaves, and golden-yellow flowers similar to the sunflower. The edible tubers are elongated, knobby, white, red or purple skinned. Several tubers are clustered at the base of each stem. The tubers can be eaten raw or cooked and the flavour improves if they are left in the ground until frosted. It is not related to the thistle-like globe artichoke, even though they taste rather similar. It is used in a popular creamy soup in France. Best planted in the spring or early summer for good tuber production. Appreciates well drained and friable soils. Raised garden beds can be useful where you have heavier soil types. Keep them well mulched and visit them regularly to enjoy their fine presence in your garden.