Chicory
Cichorium intybusAsteraceae
Whole Plant
Flower
Flower
Leaf
Whole PlantFlowerFlowerLeaf
Habitat
Habitat
Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted

Synonyms:

  • Succory, Blue sailors, Blue daisy, Coffee-weed, Bunk

The Plant:

  • An unbranched, herbaceous perennial, 2-4 feet tall, with leaves in a basal rosette.

The Leaves:

  • basal, dandelion-like
  • stem leaves alternate
  • lanceolate
  • lobed or entire
  • nearly leafless stems

The Stem:

  • rigid
  • few, short, stiff hairs
  • exudes milky sap when wounded

The Flowers:

  • Stalkless flowers with blue, violet, sometimes white, or rarely pink, with many petals. Petal tips are square and fringed. Flowers close during mid-day.

The Fruits:

  • dry brown achenes
  • short blunt scales at tip

The Habitat:

  • roadsides
  • disturbed areas
  • widespread

Dispersal:

  • wind-dispersed seeds

Key ID Features:

  • clear blue flower
  • dandelion-like basal leaves
  • petal tips square and fringed
  • stiff plant

Similar Species:

  • The leaves of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) strongly resembles the basal rosette of Chicory, but Dandelion leaves generally have oppositely arranged toothed lobes that point backwards, while Chicory has lobes that generally alternate and point in variable directions. Chicory has coarser leaf hairs and rougher textured leaves than Dandelion.

Notes:

  • The ground-up roots of this species are still used today as a coffee substitute.
  • On Nantucket, this is a common roadside weed.

Growth Form: Herb

Origin: Europe, Asia

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Do not list at this time

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Not evaluated

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no




Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston