Chicory is known for its electric blue flowers, creating a spectacular summer show along roadsides, ditches and fields.
It is not a native wildflower to the United States and has the potential to become invasive in areas, but under managed care it is popular for deer plots and food cultivation.
|Bloom Colors:||Bright blue flowers but may have pink or white flowers.|
|Edible Parts:||Certain varieties are cultivated for salad leaves.|
|Bloom Season:||June, July, August, September October|
|Plant Height:||Grows 10 to 40 inches tall.|
|Growing Conditions:||Periennial plant will thrive just about anywhere. Found along roadsides, in meadows, along creeks, in yards, the plant is not picky with its soil nor sunlight.|
Chicory Coffee Anyone?
Chicory (Cichorium Intybus) is cultivated for its root which is dried, baked, roasted and pulverized and then added to coffee or even brewed as chicory coffee which is popular in the Southern United States and Europe.
Leaves Are Edible
The leaves of chicory are supposed to be edible and added to salads – for me, I found them extremely bitter the first go around. Blanching them is most certainly the secret.
1.) Harvest them when they are young and tender.
2.) Blanch them before adding them to salads or they have a bitter taste.
Grow Your Own
If you wish to grow your own chicory in your garden for use in salads the plant is super easy to grow.
1.) Grows in almost any soil in heavy to filtered sunlight.
2.) Sow seeds in May 1 inch deep and 12 inches apart.
3.) Water as the soil dries out.
4.) Harvest young, tender leaves.
5.) Blanch the leaves before adding them to salads.