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Photo by: Gary Fewless

Location: Brown Co., WI

Date taken: June 29, 2001

Camera: Olympus CL 2500L digital camera


chicory flower.

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Chicory is an introduced species in the U.S. and a weed by most accounts, although it is sometimes included in commercial "wildflower" seed mixes. The bright blue flowers (rarely pink or white) are distinctive and the leaves are roughly similar to Dandelion. The stems are usually about 2-3 feet tall. If leaves or stems are broken they exude a milky sap. The flowers usually open in early morning on sunny days and close during the afternoon. On cloudy days they may not open. In Brown County Chicory begins to flower conspicuously about July 1 and continues into the Autumn.

The taproot is sometimes roasted and ground as a coffee substitute or as an addition to commercial coffee. It is becoming increasingly important as a source of the carbohydrate inulin, which is used to make soluble fibers and as sugar and fat replacers. The leaves are less often used as a salad green when very young--it is relatively closely related to lettuce in the Tribe Cichoriae within the Family Asteraceae (Compositae of older books). Endive is a cultivated variety of chicory. Other species within this tribe in our area include Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Hawkweed (Hieracium spp.), Sow Thistle (Sonchus spp.) and Yellow Goat's-beard (Tragopogon spp.).

Contributed by Gary Fewless

© 2001-2004 The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, All Rights Reserved
Last updated on May 12, 2014