Crosne or Japanese maple; delicacy from the vegetable garden

Crosne is an underground growing vegetable shaped like little mini Michelin men. They look white and spiral-shaped. Crosne originally comes from Northern China, but strangely enough this plant is called Japanese anthorn. This vegetable is relatively unknown in the Netherlands, but in parts of France it is a well-known delicacy. Crosne can easily be grown yourself in the vegetable garden. In terms of taste, you could describe crosne as a combination of cauliflower, salsify and artichoke. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Japanese thorn or crosne / Source:, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)


  • Naming crosne
  • Crosne history
  • Grow Crosne yourself
  • Eating crosne
  • How to obtain Crosne: go to the store or grow it yourself?
  • Two Recipes crosne


Naming crosne

The Latin name for crosne is Stachys sieboldi . The German-Dutch botanist and Japan expert Philip Franz von Siebold is responsible for the second part of the Latin name. The plant is originally called Japanese anthorn. Crosne is a name named after the French town of Crosne. In France, this small, funny-shaped tuber is a popular delicacy and was first grown on a large scale around the town of Crosne, a town 18 kilometers south of Paris. Crosne has many nicknames. It is called Chinese artichoke, Japanese potato, tuber potato, Chinese Jerusalem artichoke and stachy.

Crosne history

In Germany the plant is called Knollen-Ziest. It is related to Sumpf-Ziest and Heide-Ziest (bergandoorn in Dutch), which were already eaten by the Germans. In addition, this mountain buckthorn is a medicinal plant that used to be available in dried form in pharmacies. In 1882, the Frenchman M. Pailleux introduced crosne to Europe. It was renovated just below Paris; near the town of Crosne. Crosne, like the mountain buckthorn, belongs to the Lamiaceae family.

Grow Crosne yourself

Crosne grows in both sun and partial shade. It is best to plant them 10 centimeters apart. It does well in sandy ones

The flower of crosne / Source:, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

soil. The crosne plant or Japanese anthorn grows 50 centimeters high. The tubers are frost resistant. Crosne can proliferate, meaning the plant reproduces itself well. For this reason you can choose to grow crosne in a pot.

Eating crosne

You don’t have to peel crosne. You brush the spiral-shaped nodules thoroughly so that there is no sand left on them. What remains are cream-colored elongated tubers that are puffed up as if they were Michelin men. Crosne can be prepared in the same way as potatoes. You can fry, bake, boil and roast them. You can also eat crosne tubers raw in a salad. For that purpose you could first grate them or simply cut them into small pieces. You can also blanch crosne to eat them al dente.

How to obtain Crosne: go to the store or grow it yourself?

They taste a bit nutty. Crosne are available in China, both fresh and preserved in a jar. In the Netherlands, crosne is increasingly available fresh at a grocery store. Crosne is an ideal plant for people who enjoy experimenting with a vegetable garden. You don’t often find it in stores and when you do, it isn’t cheap. With crosne you have a nice, original vegetable garden vegetable in the garden or on the balcony.

Two Recipes crosne

Crosne is great to bake with onions, garlic, paprika powder and a mix of green herbs such as sage, thyme and rosemary. First fry the onions and garlic for two minutes and then add the crosne. This way you have a tasty basis for a meal. Another way to eat crosne is to roast it or gratinate it in the oven. You can also roast it in a frying pan without butter or oil, with a lid on it. It only needs to be heated briefly, say three to five minutes, because it is also edible raw. When they come out of the oven warm, you can put a knob of butter on them.

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