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Chinese Artichoke

Stachys affinis

An unusual and prolific perennial with small edible tubers.

PLANT TYPE Herb

PLANT HABIT Perennial

USES Culinary

DESCRIPTION

A plant in the mint family, originates from China and is popular in France where it is known as Crosnes. Produces crunchy white rhizomes in autumn that resemble the Michelin man’s arms. These are excellent raw in salads, fried or steamed and have a sweet nutty flavour and pleasant texture.

 

PRODUCT NOTES Price is for an established plant from April to Mid-November or 8 tubers in Winter months.

RECOMMENDED LOCATION Pot, Forest garden

Aspect Full sun, Partial sun

Height 50cm

Spread 30cm

Hardiness Hardy to -20 degrees

Management and care Plant out tubers Mid-October through to April, 25cm apart and 7-8cm deep. Chinese artichoke plants take about 5-7 months to develop tubers. They are ready to harvest anytime during the autumn and winter when the plant is dormant.

Origin/history

Originated from northern and central China and has been cultivated there since the 13th century. In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the S. affinis is primarily pickled. Common names include Crosne (France – pronounced “Crones”), Chinese artichoke, Japanese artichoke, Knotroot, Artichoke Betony, Chorogi (Japan), T’sao-Shih-Ts’an (“Herbaceous Rock Silk Worm” – China).
It wasn’t until the 1880s that the Chinese artichoke or Crosnes were introduced into Europe, firstly in France where they were cultivated near the region of Crosne.

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Chinese Artichoke