Cichorium intybus

 

Chicory

Blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, coffeeweed, cornflower, horseweed, wild bachelor’s buttons, wild endive

*Non-native

 

This blue-flowered perennial member of the aster family has become quite popular on the table. When cultivated, its leaves can be eaten as a vegetable or in a salad; its roots can be roasted and ground, and added to coffee or used as a coffee substitute. The roots can also be roasted and eaten with butter. It has been added to ales. It was even mentioned as part of the diet of Horace, the Roman lyric poet. Fast-forward to a recent Korean study that indicated chicory reduces cholesterol levels in the blood of tested animals. And through the ages, chicory has helped people get through coffee shortages. The exception is New Orleans, where the perennial foodie town took a decided liking to the addition of chicory to coffee.

 

 

Blooms from July until October.

 

(orleanscoffee.comBritannica.com.; Wikipedia, photographer Alvesgaspar - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2141487)