Cichorium intybus / Chicory Root

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Common chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant of the dandelion family Asteraceae, usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink. Other common names include blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, bunk, coffee weed, cornflower, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelor’s buttons, and wild endive.

Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock.  

It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and is now common in North America, China, and Australia, where it has become widely naturalised.

“Chicory” is also the common name in the United States for curly endive (Cichorium endivia); these two closely related species are often confused.

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