A stem of chicory flows along side the road, adding grace to a day’s drive.
Photographed in the Bashakill Wetlands, Wurtsboro, New York, USA
Also known as Blue Sailors, chicory is in the Aster family.
It is a non-native herbaceous biennial or perennial. When flowering, chicory has a tough, grooved, and more or less hairy stem, from 10"-40" tall.
Leaves are stalked, lanceolate and unlobed.
Flowers are 3/4"-1.5" wide, blue-lavender-white petals radiating from an miniscule disk. There are two rows of petals – the inner are longer and erect, the outer are shorter and spreading.
Chicory flowers between April-October, in habitats of disturbed sites.
Its range is native to Europe; now naturalized throughout continental North America, except Alaska and arctic Canada.
This wildflower is considered invasive or a weedy in some places, and listed as a noxious weed in Colorado. Leaves of Cichorium intybus are sometimes used as salad greens; the roasted roots are sometimes ground and used as or in addition to coffee.
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