Plant ID forum: Chicory (Cichorium intybus); roadside flowers

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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 26, 2015 7:55 PM CST
Okay, I feel silly asking this, but these flowers are EVERYWHERE around here and I don't know what they are. Some form of Daisy? Delphinium?...

They are up and down the highways, along ditches, etc... I think they are kind of pretty (although I wish they were less of a light blue and more true blue).

What are they?


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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Jul 26, 2015 8:11 PM CST
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


[Last edited by Horntoad - Jul 26, 2015 8:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 26, 2015 8:30 PM CST
No need to feel silly. When I looked at the photos my mouth shouted "Cornflowers!" and I realize that for 60 years I have been calling chickory chichory Sighing! Chicory by the wrong name. *Blush*

(I still can't spell but at least now I know the correct name). Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jul 26, 2015 8:35 PM CST
A coffee substitute.......
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 27, 2015 3:54 AM CST
Oh, wow! Thanks, everyone! Thank You! I had no idea that was Chicory. It's kind of funny, there are two people on ATP that really want it and I'm tempted to tell them to simply take a road trip to Michigan with some pots, because there is NO shortage of it here whatsoever. It is really pretty, especially this time of year when things are so hot, it's light blue presence helps cool down the landscape.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

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frankrichards16
Jul 27, 2015 4:19 AM CST
Indeed, Chicory is in full bloom currently in Michigan. Anyone ever try adding it to coffee?
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 27, 2015 6:51 AM CST
To get the great chickory taste... It's necessary to roast the root first... Grinding is optional.
I've done it, but... I can't grow chickory in my garden. Voles eat it.

I had some growing in my previous garden, I could barely keep it alive in the GA heat. Plus... I had voles there too.

I'll bet someone could gather seed and work out some good trades...
The seed are very easy to collect.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 27, 2015 7:05 AM CST
It's the Chicory root that is dug up (in the autumn), sliced, dried, roasted, ground and added to coffee. I have tried it but my digestive system said, "Please don't do that again." Chicory root contains inulin which is a dietary fiber. For some people it may cause some discomfort until the body adjusts.

But like anything that may cause a bit of a tummy ache, I have learned to try again. Since inulin is beneficial, start with just a pinch in some boiled water and call it Chicory tea. If that works, gradually work up the the 'grown-up' version.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 27, 2015 9:22 AM CST
That's useful information! I'm not sure what people would think if they saw me parked beside the road collecting seed, but I suppose stranger things have happened. I just need to find someplace that is slightly more discrete and see if I can collect seeds. I'll also take secondary pictures just to be 100% you guys agree its chicory, in case I am grabbing seeds that are of some similar-looking, but toxic plant. Blinking
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 27, 2015 10:52 AM CST
In the 1970s author Dolly Freed wrote a book titled "'Possum Living". She suggests that if you look professional, carry a clipboard and wear a lab coat, you can do almost anything and no one will question your actions. Note: DO NOT try to download the free PDF version as it contains a security warning; if you want to read the book, buy it from a reputable source. Thank You!

My husband added a bit of information and suggested that wearing khaki pants and a dark green golf shirt, driving an unmarked white pickup truck make you look like you know what you are doing.

In some states it may be illegal to harvest/collect/dig/disturb wildflowers, so please check your local laws and ordinances before collecting seed, but I'm pretty sure the Chicory is not in any danger of becoming extinct. Rolling on the floor laughing
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 27, 2015 4:03 PM CST
Haha, Greene! This is true. Tell your husband that I like his suggestions; although my car doesn't come close to looking like a white pickup truck, so I lose out there. I don't know if I own khaki pants anymore and I definitely don't have a green golf shirt. Hmm...But a clipboard and a lab coat I can do!

I've read that chicory is invasive in some places, which it might very well be here (and, perhaps, should be a reason I don't plant it), but I have to look into it more. I wonder when it seeds, I could always just go harvest seeds and I doubt anyone would care that I took seeds off of one of the billions of chicory plants...
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Jul 27, 2015 10:13 PM CST
When I was a young lad, the family took a road trip south to Arkansas to visit a (past) neighbor. Even though chickory is native here in Minnesota, I had never seen it before, and seeing the large blue swaths along the highways, I convince Dad to stop so we could see what they were. I collected seed and planted them back in Minnesota. One plant grew. Two or three years past, and I saw them starting to come up in nearby road side ditches. Even at 12 years old I was savvy enough to know about invasive plants, and this set off an alarm for me. I spent the next 8 years searching and pulling every specimen I could find. (And this is one time that I was actually successful!)

Now 45 years later, I've seen native chicory in dry Minnesota prairies, but always nicely coexisting with other native materials, and not in large swaths. I am still baffled why it hasn't "jumped the fence" as it did in my youth.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 28, 2015 5:34 AM CST
Rick, your post was enough to push me over the fence onto the side of not planting it. Thank you for the warning. Thank You! Granted, chicory is already everywhere around SE Michigan, but I don't want it to get into my neighbors' yards because, fortunately, it isn't something that seems to grow in the residential neighborhoods around this area yet.

I'll stick with my vivid blue "Summer Nights" delphinium, if I can get them to quit dying on me. Glare
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jul 28, 2015 7:22 AM CST
P.S. I should have said "already exists" in Minnesota instead of "native". Chickory is an introduced plant, and not native anywhere in the USA.
--- All the more reason to be careful.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jul 28, 2015 9:24 AM CST
For anyone wanting to try Coffee and Chicory, you don't have to grow either of them...all the work has been done for you.

http://www.reilyproducts.com/CDM-COFFEE

When I lived in New Orleans, one of the neatest "smell" memories was roasting coffee beans and chicory roots

And, Chicory is found in another interesting place...your grocery store produce section. It is the root of the endive plant.

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/glossary/g/Chicory.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicory

Edited to add my "missing link" Thanks to Greene for catching the error.
[Last edited by Moonhowl - Jul 28, 2015 9:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 28, 2015 9:33 AM CST
Um, please be careful when using common names. Thumbs up
The grocery store endive (Chichorum endivia) and the plant that started this thread Chichorum intybus) are not the same exact plant.
Please feel free to correct my spelling as my fingers are not cooperating today. *Blush*
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Jul 28, 2015 4:05 PM CST
Btw, this replacement coffee was drunk a lot after the Second World War in Germany, since real Coffee was hardly available. It was called affectionately Mucke Fuck. Of course using the German pronunciation, the u is pronounced as in oo, but the sound is short.
As children we liked the stuff.

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