(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."

CHICKWEED BURNET ROSE SHEPHERD'S CLOCK CLARENCE MOORES WEED. facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail