Chicory - Cichorium intybus ( Composite family - Compositae)


Chicory - Cichorium intybus ( Composite family - Compositae) Clear blue stalkless flowers hug the rigid, nearly naked stem. Rays blue (often white, rarely pink), square tipped and fringed; closed by noon. Basal leaves dandelion-like. To 4 ft. Roadsides, waste places. Only a few flowers are open on a plant at one time. They last only one day — new flowers appearing the next day. They usually close in the heat of the day. This plant grows from a stout root that can be roasted, ground and used as a substitute for coffee. Brought from Europe for this purpose, it is still used by country people.



The common and generic names derive from chicourey, the Arabic name of the plant, which was used by Arabian physicians to treat intestinal disorders. Another common name, Blue Sailors, comes from an old legend about a sailor who went to sea, leaving his beloved waiting day after day along the highway for his return. The gods took pity on her and changed her into a chicory plant that wears sailor blue in its blossoms and still haunts roadsides.

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