Growing Crosnes

July 10, 2010 § 1 Comment

This plant is named after the home town of a Monsieur Pailleux of Crosnes, who introduced the vegetable into Europe from the East.

The roots, the edible part, look like weird stir fried insect larvae. Maggots. Yum Yum!

They are also known as chorogi, knotroot, Chinese artichoke, or Japanese artichoke. But are not a member of the artichoke family. They are of the mint family. Their stems betray that relationship. And apparently they really do spread like mint!

Word has it they have a gentle nutty flavour ~ light and fresh ~ rather nice texture too.

I’m curious enough to try …


Crosnes can be planted in a flower bed, around a landscape shrub or as a field crop. And in pots of course. It is a member of the mint family and likely reproduces like that, so that’s what we are going for. In pots. To be on the safe side. For now.

They need to be grown in a fully sunny site with a deep, light-textured, humus-rich and rich soil.


Crosnes need adequate moisture and freedom from weed competition in order to produce tubers that are usable. For the rest, leave em to there own devices, like mint.


When the foliage turns brown ~ around mid-October ~ gather the tiny tubers, like Jerusalem artichokes, through the winter right from the garden (or pots).


Crosnes shine in stir-fried dishes as a crispy alternative to water chestnuts.

But cooking is optional, as they are crunchy and full of juice right out of the ground. Eat crosnes raw as a snack. In a salad for a radishlike crunch. Or pickle them.

And since they look so much like maggots, how about cooking up something special at Halloween, Samhain, Feast of the Runes. Guaranteed success!

  • Pickled crosnes
  • Stir-fried crosnes
  • St. Maarten crosnes
  • More to follow …

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