by Stephen Mifsud
   3 Mar 2024      ()
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Helianthus tuberosus   (Jerusalem Artichoke)

Helianthus tuberosus  (ASTERACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Helianthus tuberosus - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 03-Mar-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Helianthus tuberosusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 905 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Helianthus serotinus Tausch
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl (=Compositae) (The Daisy or Sunflower Family)
123 species from the Asteraceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Jerusalem Artichoke

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Cultivated species. Introduced plants cultivated for agricultural or horticultural purposes but sometimes can be occassionaly found as an escapee close to the site of their original cultivation.

Frequency :

Data not available - casual or short-lived in the wild from accidental garden or agriculture escape

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

July – October

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Helianthus: Helios- meaning sun and -anthos meaning flower, probably given for the large, yellow flowers that sunflower species have. (Greek origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Naturalised from cultivated places, or casual escapes
Preferred habitat in Malta: Fields
Botanical Description: Perennial; stems 1-2.8 m, scabrid-hispid or glabrous, usually branched above. Rhizomes tuberous. Leaves 10-25 x 7-15 cm, ovate, acuminate, coarsely serrate, scabrid above, whitish-pubescent beneath, narrowed into a winged petiole, the upper not much smaller. Capitula 4-8 cm in diameter, several, erect. Involucral bracts at least as long as the diameter of the disc, more or less patent, lanceolate, acuminate, ciliate, dark green. Receptacle convex. Ligules 30-40 mm. Inner florets yellow. Achenes 5-6 mm, glabrous or hairy.
Distributional range: Cultivated for its edible tubers (Jerusalem artichokes) and naturalized, mainly in C. Europe.
Native region outside Europe: (North America.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in Albania, Austria and Liechtenstein, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Romania, Russia and former USSR
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[nAl nAu(A) aAu(L) nAz(F G L S) nBe(B L) cBH cBl nBl(M N) Br nBu nBy Co nCs Ct nCy Es Ga(F) nGe cGr aHb(E) nHe nHo nHs(S) nHu cIJ cIr nIt nJu nLa cLe cLi cLS nLt cLu aMd(M) nMk nMo No nPo Rf nRf(C CS E NW S) nRm nSa nSi(M S) nSk Sl aSr Su Tu(A) Uk nUk(K U)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (10 images)
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-0.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-1.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-2.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-3.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-4.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-5.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-6.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-7.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-8.
   Helianthus tuberosus   -   Image Code: HELTU-9.

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