Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Artichoke

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ARTICHOKE, a plant belonging to the order asteraceæ, or composites, the suborder tubuliferæ, and the section carduineæ, the same to which the thistles belong. It considerably resembles a huge thistle. The receptacle on which the florets are situated, and the fleshy bases of the scales are eaten. The modern Arabs consider the root as aperient, and the gum, which they term hunkirzeed, as an emetic. Artichokes were introduced into England early in the 16th century.

The Jerusalem artichoke is not from Jerusalem, and is not an artichoke. It is an American sunflower (helianthus tuberosus). The word Jerusalem arose from a corruption of the Italian girasole, meaning “turner to the sun.” The roots of this species are sometimes used as a substitute for potatoes.