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Chicory, Italian Dandelion, Radicchio, Succory, Witloof

Cichorium intybus

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cichorium (sik-KOR-ee-um) (Info)
Species: intybus (IN-tye-bus) (Info)
View this plant in a garden




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Medium Blue

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chula Vista, California

Emeryville, California

Hercules, California

Menifee, California (2 reports)

Merced, California

San Bernardino, California

Bailey, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Keystone Heights, Florida

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Quincy, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Muncie, Indiana

Warren, Indiana

Neola, Iowa

Benton, Kentucky

Calvert City, Kentucky

Harned, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Melbourne, Kentucky

Skowhegan, Maine

Baltimore, Maryland

Brookeville, Maryland

Cumberland, Maryland

Earleville, Maryland

Oakland, Maryland

Halifax, Massachusetts

Woburn, Massachusetts

Erie, Michigan

Jordan, Minnesota

Shevlin, Minnesota

Cole Camp, Missouri

Forsyth, Missouri

Collingswood, New Jersey

Middlesex, New Jersey

Ogdensburg, New York

Panama, New York

Sodus, New York

Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Bucyrus, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Hilliard, Ohio

Lebanon, Ohio

Pocola, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Milford, Pennsylvania

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Valencia, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

York, South Carolina

Madison, Tennessee

Garland, Texas

Martindale, Texas

Blacksburg, Virginia (2 reports)

Bluefield, Virginia

Floyd, Virginia

Palmyra, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Liberty, West Virginia

Merrimac, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 31, 2014, kayshenoy from Lexington, KY wrote:

We have an empty plot in front of our house and it is filled with chicory. The field of blue flowers is so pretty. I want to try to grow it in my garden.


On Aug 8, 2010, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Chicory has naturalized it's self here in Maryland, like it has in other parts of the United States. It hails from Eurasia but is a common sight alongside roads, ditches, and abandoned areas here. It also pops up in lawns, as it has down along my drive. It never spreads aggressively or really out-competes anything. I never find it in any flower beds.

Not a morning person, I don't get to see the flowers very often but when I happen to be awake during the morning, when this plant is blooming, I am impressed by it's startling blue flowers. The flowers soon fade by noon time unless the day is very overcast.

Foliage can be used as a vegetable or in salad and the root can be roasted and ground to be used as a coffee substitute or additive. In the frontier days, man... read more


On Jul 28, 2009, liondandy from chilliwack, british columbia
Canada wrote:

The blue flower, chicory, or italian dandelion, grows profusely on roadsides in chilliwack, b.c., and a little more than an hour ago I chatted with brian minter about it. i had had to drive 60 miles away to get the seed, since minter gardens didn't have it. and why should they, since it grows a riot in this town. i want to propagate it adjacent my white trailer in white shaded, concrete square pots alongside scabiosa for a mauve effect alongside a bird bath that will show off an amethyst quartzite formation embedded in tumbled river rock. don't get any delusions. i am NOT a gardener...


On Sep 10, 2008, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

The Cichorium intybus flowers are predominately blue or lavender, but occasionally there will be some white flowers.


On Sep 9, 2008, Kathleen from Panama, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have always known the blue chicory, but this year found some white growing in the ditch down by the field that we planted millet in. very pretty in white as well as the blue.


On Jul 16, 2008, Trixtar from Muncie, IN wrote:

Good thing that I like Chicory, because it grows naturally all over my yard. I have never sown this plant, but anywhere that I do not run the lawn mower or weed-eater, I have more than enough of them. At first I thought they were some form of Lactuca and had considered chopping them down. I am glad that I didn't now, because the blue flowers really add some color to the landscape. It's lanky stems and Lactuca like foliage are not the most attractive sight, but the flowers make up for that. Seems to grow best in untilled high clay content soil around naturally occuring Lactucas, Mullein, and Sassafras.


On Jun 3, 2008, donicaben from Ogdensburg, NY wrote:

Too funny! Here I go and buy a mix of herb seeds and get all excited about "chicory"...this stuff grew WILD in the ditch in front of my house growing up!

The stuff used to poke me in the legs as I mowed it...and now I've intentionally planted it in my herb garden. Funny how everything comes full circle.


On Aug 31, 2007, Edviinss from Liepaja
Latvia wrote:

I found in nature Cichorium intybus with white flowers, much better than with blue flowers, really ornamental plant, long flowering period July to September.


On Aug 30, 2007, Chesler from Woburn, MA wrote:

I'm told the wild examples I see along roadways and sidewalks are escapees from gardens. I haven't had good luck getting it to start from seed, but it comes where it wants to. A neighbor says it is a weed, because he didn't plant it; I figure it's a gift. He cuts it down and it comes back anyway.
My favorite flower - it comes out on my birthday and blooms every morning all summer; not overly showy, from a tough, unsightly stem.
My grandmother, a Hungarian, used to mix ground chicory root with coffee, making it taste stronger. I've done that, but I don't feel like collecting and eating something that grows in car exhaust. Apparently the leaves can be eaten in a salad, too.


On Jan 29, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A cheerful little weed that grows along the roadways and in vacant lots. It seems to prefer the hard packed ground for some reason.

Flowers fade by noon, but they are so intense that they are worth keeping them around, despite their short lives.

I happen to like chicory flavored coffee. I didn't get a taste of it till my adult life and was introduced to it by a Cajun friend...I immediately became totally addicted.


On Nov 9, 2004, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant does not grow in my current neighborhood but it grows wild in every other place I've ever live in this country. It's not invasive in the strict meaning of the definition, but it is naturalized. And, to my thinking, a welcome citizen it is. The ice blue of the flowers--which die everyday at midday--is unmatched in the plant kingdom for clarity. It is an absolutely beautiful flower.


On Mar 6, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
One of the best blue flowers around. It grows as a weed here along side of the road and in vacant lots. Love the clear blue flowers and the wirey stems. Only admire it in the wild, can become a pest in the garden.


On Jan 12, 2004, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I have never grown this plant, but I was raised on the Gulf of Mexico, and my Mother was from South Louisiana, and every morning she made coffee with chicory, just as her parents had, in a drip coffee pot, and it was a vile liquid that was almost thick enough to stand a spoon up in.

Consequently, I have never liked coffee, which I guess is a good thing, and I have become a hot tea drinker instead. I think this herb not only has a bad taste, but a very unpleasant and lingering aftertaste. I guess, like Scotch, it is an acquired taste.


On Jan 11, 2004, deloit from Omaha, NE wrote:

I was not aware of this plant until I saw it growing wild on the edge of our local park. I like the blue color and have collected some seeds with hopes to try to start a plant or two. Any suggestions? BobM


On Oct 5, 2001, Sis wrote:

HARVESTING/STORING: Use leaves fresh in salads or cook like spinach. Chicory does not dry or freeze well. Collect the roots in fall, and dry and grind them for a coffee substitute.

OTHER COMMON NAMES: Blue-sailors,succory,witloof,Belgian endive.