Chicory

Scientific Name: Cichorium intybus
Family Name: Asteraceae




Flower: Chicory has a beautiful violet flower, with rayed square tipped petals. The flower is 1.5 inches (4 cm.) wide.

Copyright: Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002
Leaf: The leaves resemble those of the dandelion plant, growing in a basal rosette with many protruding teeth.

Plant: Chicory flowers from June to October, and it grows 12 - 52 inches tall (30 - 130 cm.), with a very stiff round stem that possesses occasional bristle hairs. When the stem is broken, it exudes a milky sap.

Identifying Characteristics: The bright violet flowers with square tips are unique.

Location: We found Chicory in several locations on the Brandeis University campus, including the road going toward X-lot between Spingold theatre and the admissions building.

History and Comments: Chicory was introduced from Europe, and it is very hardy, willing to grow out of broken pavement and out of rocky areas. In England, in the late 18th century, Chicory was cultivated as an alternative animal feed to hay. It is also domesticated and planted for its roots, which can be used as a coffee substitute. During the Civil War, Chicory penetrated the United States as a cheap substitute for unavailable coffee.





    Unless otherwise specified, all text, photographs, and drawings are Copyright (c) by Shu-Yee Chen and Deborah Hamer 2003. No part of this page may be reproduced without prior written consent of the authors.