Crosne (Chinese Artichoke) Plants
VEGE-CARTI-1-5Regular price $15.00
Chinese Artichoke is an expensive rarity in the shops, but very easy to grow. If you are an Asian food lover, then try growing this taste sensation in a large pot in your kitchen garden. The purple flowers will add a little colour to your patio too!
Urban Bounty Chinese Artichoke plants come in a 1.5 litre pot.
What is Chinese Artichoke (Crosne, Japanese Artichoke, Knotroot, Chorogi)
Chinese Artichoke (Stachys affinis) isn't an Artichoke at all, but is actually part of the Mint family. Originating from China, it is also found in India, Japan and France. (In France, the Chinese Artichoke was first cultivated in Crosne, hence the alternative name.)
This vegetable/herb is a perennial that produces edible tubers or roots. The lush green leaves look very similar to Mint or Lemon Balm. In summer, the plant produces gorgeous pink to mauve flowers.
Culinary Uses for Chinese Artichoke
One of the most popular ways to cook Crosne roots is to pickle them. The tubers can also be eaten fresh or cooked and have a nutty flavour that is similar to Water Chestnuts or Jerusalem Artichoke. Try the roots cooked with carrots and potatoes, or toss cooked Crosne together with leafy greens, spring onions and a vinaigrette. The roots can also be sautéed in butter before a little cream and sprinkle of chopped herbs are added. (Basil, Parsley and Thyme go well.)
There is no need to peel the tubers before cooking - clean them with water and store in a dark place to avoid discolouration.
Growing Conditions - Chinese Artichoke, Crosne
Chinese Artichokes thrive in light shade but will tolerate some sun. Plant 7cm deep in slightly acidic, moist but well-draining soil. (Spaced the plants 20-30cm apart so the tubers don’t get crowded.) This plant can spread rapidly, so we recommend planting it in a contained space or large pot.
Small amounts of compost and seaweed tea will keep Crosne healthy, but avoid feeding it too much nitrogen-rich fertiliser. (We like to add compost to which seaweed has been added, but not animal manure.) Make sure your plants don't dry out over summer.
It takes five to seven months for Chinese artichoke plants to develop tubers, with each plant producing up to 80 small translucent white tubers (about 5cm by 2.5cm thick). The tubers are usually harvested from autumn - winter, when the plant is dormant. Lift them out of the ground like a Potato, leaving some for next season's growth.
What type of climate do Crosne (Chinese Artichoke) prefer?
Chinese Artichoke leaves aren't frost hardy, but the underground roots are hardier. This plant is more suited to warmer climates, but if you would like to try growing it in a cooler area, we recommend that you grow it in a pot that can be over-wintered in a warm spot, and mulch to protect the roots.