Saint Charles sunchoke is a high yielding small to medium sized white tuber selection averaging only 2-3 inches in length. A seedling of Shiawassee, Saint Charles continues with its Michigan heritage proving to be well adapted to cold short season selections that fruit in less than 90 days. The multiple runners and short stolons makes it easy to harvest in clumps. In the right soil, they can be easily be pulled out from the main stem if not too deep in the soil. The small tubers have distinctive pointed eyes yet it is smooth enough to clean.
Sometimes small sunchokes can have 'off' flavors or be very fibrous. Not Saint Charles. It does have an earthy flavor but even in the raw state it is enjoyable to eat fresh despite its density too. As the name suggests it is a saint amongst the often fibrous hybrids with other sunflower species. Its uniformity in tuber shape and small size is an asset with this selection in terms of its culinary use as it easy to use in soups, stews and salads.
|Genus & Species
||Tolerable to a variety of soils but probably best in sandy loam where the tubers can be extracted more easily. This variety does well in our sandy rather dry soils and is not affected by drought as much.
|Ease of Cultivation
||This is a good short season selection as well as a good yielding type that can be harvested easily. The small tubers grow very dense near the parent plant but this one does produce a profusion of runners, but not long runners.