CHICORY SUCCORY BLUE SAILORS BUNK
(Cichorium Intybus) Chicory family
Flower-head - Bright, deep azure to gray blue, rarely pinkish or
white, 1 to 1 1/2 in. broad, set close to stem, often in small
clusters for nearly the entire length; each head a composite of
ray flowers only,
5-toothed at upper edge, and set in a flat
green receptacle. Stem: Rigid, branching, to 3 ft. high. Leaves:
Lower ones spreading on ground, 3 to 6 in. long, spatulate, with
deeply cut or irregular edges, narrowed into petioles, from a
deep tap-root; upper leaves of stem and branches minute,
Preferred Habitat - Roadsides, waste places, fields.
Flowering Season - July-October.
Distribuition - Common in Eastern United States and Canada, south
to the Carolinas; also sparingly westward to Nebraska.
At least the dried and ground root of this European invader is
known to hosts of people who buy it undisguised or not, according
as they count it an improvement to their coffee or a disagreeable
adulterant. So great is the demand for chicory that,
notwithstanding its cheapness, it is often in its turn
adulterated with roasted wheat, rye, acorns, and carrots. Forced
and blanched in a warm, dark place, the bitter leaves find a
ready market as a salad known as "barbe de Capucin" by the
fanciful French. Endive and dandelion, the chicory's relatives,
appear on the table too, in spring, where people have learned the
possibilities of salads, as they certainly have in Europe.
>From the depth to which the tap-root penetrates, it is not
unlikely the succory derived its name from the Latin succurrere =
to run under. The Arabic name chicourey testifies to the almost
universal influence of Arabian physicians and writers in Europe
after the Conquest. As chicoree, achicoria, chicoria, cicorea,
chicorie, cichorei, cikorie, tsikorei, and cicorie the plant is
known respectively to the French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians,
Germans, Dutch, Swedes, Russians, and Danes.
On cloudy days or in the morning only throughout midsummer the
"peasant posy" opens its "dear blue eyes"
"Where tired feet
Toil to and fro;
Where flaunting Sin
May see thy heavenly hue,
Or weary Sorrow look from thee
Toward a tenderer blue!"
- Margaret Deland.
In his "Humble Bee" Emerson, too, sees only beauty in the
"Succory to match the sky;" but, mirabile dictu, Vergil, rarely
caught in a prosaic, practical mood, wrote, "And spreading
succ'ry chokes the rising field."
Next: IRONWEED FLAT TOP
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