Monday, September 29, 2014

Autumn flowers

I thought I had pulled all these flowers out last fall. They're some variety of helianthus, I think, or sunflower, although not the giant sunflower that's planted for its seeds. My goal was to move them from this spot around the well to another location out back by the garden shed. I pulled up every stalk with its tuberous roots and replanted each one. But they came back in this same spot as if I had done nothing. Oh well (c'est le cas de le dire).

After the summer's garden flowers have faded, these bloom a bright yellow and reach up to about six feet.

Only about half of the plants I moved came up, but they're ok. It takes a good year for these to get re-established once they're moved. The difficult part is actually getting rid of them once they establish themselves. I'm going to move another batch of them this fall or next spring.


  1. You are quite right -- they are a type of Helianthus, closely related to sunflowers. They are Jerusalem Artichokes, so if you are prepared for the digestive aftermath (hint: they are known as fartichokes at our house), dig some up and eat the tubers. You will struggle to get rid of them from any place they have been growing. I recommend roasting (young tubers, scrubbed but not peeled) or à la boulangère (older tubers, peeled and sliced).

  2. look at those pretty purple grapes; a nice contrast with the yellow flowers.

    what autumn? it was 85F the past 2 days here; back to the air conditioner!

  3. As Susan said they are Jerusalem artichokes or Topinambours in French. During the last war, my father dries the leaves and used them as a substitute tobacco!

  4. At least they're not ugly. And I have eaten them, although there isn't a ton there once you peel them. Yummy, though!

  5. susan, I thought they might be, but the tubers don't look right. They are smaller and thinner than the topinambours I've seen. And yes, we really like topinambours and are, unfortunately, very familiar with the side effects. :)

    anne marie, enjoy it!

    chm, was that common or just his own idea?

    judy, which?

    ginny, we like them. I'll have to start looking for them in the markets.

  6. Just let us know if you'll be cooking those tubers. We'll all know whose house to avoid.

  7. Walt,
    It was is own idea since we grew them in our small yard that you know.


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