Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke is a rather cheerful, bright yellow flower. It has nothing to do with Jerusalem and it is not an artichoke. That said, it may have been given the name by puritans settling in North America, to which it is native, who were seeking to build a New Jerusalem on earth. When first brought over to England they were reckoned ‘dainties for the Queen [Elizabeth I]’, while now accounted a weed "that even the most vulgar begin to despise them" (John Parkinson, 1629). Furthermore, its tubers are edible and thought to assist with controlling diabetes. This is quite some accolade for so misnamed a plant. Beautiful and useful, by whatever name it goes. Would that we were likewise.