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Smallanthus sonchifolias

Also known as Peruvian Ground Apple, this perennial daisy plant from South America is closely related to jerusalem artichokes and sunflowers. It is grown for its tuberous roots which are sweet, juicy and delicious. The tubers contain fructooligosaccharide which cannot be digested but has a prebiotic effect, enhancing colon health and aiding digestion.

Harvest the edible tubers in autumn and replant the rhizome at the end of the stalk for next year’s harvest. Use the tubers sliced raw in vegetable or fruit salads, juiced, reduced to syrups, cut and fried or baked like chips. It could also be fermented into an alcoholic drink.

This is a fun plant for the kids to grow – as  long as they are patient! Watch the big ,slightly tropical leaves grow, followed by small sunflower-like flowers, then dig up the sweet tubers to eat in autumn!

Full sun or part shade, average soil conditions are fine but a rich moist loam is ideal. Height to 2m.

11cm pot, certified organic plant.