Hardiness: 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: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping 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: Non-patented
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
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, many people used chicory in place of coffee.
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...
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.
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 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:
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.
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
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.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Chula Vista, California Emeryville, California Hercules, California Menifee, California (2 reports) Merced, California Muscoy, California Bailey, Colorado Security-widefield, Colorado Keystone Heights, Florida Mount Prospect, Illinois Quincy, Illinois Homecroft, Indiana Macy, Indiana Muncie, Indiana Warren, Indiana Neola, Iowa Benton, Kentucky Calvert City, Kentucky Harned, Kentucky Hebron, Kentucky Melbourne, Kentucky Cornville, Maine Baltimore, Maryland Brookeville, Maryland Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Earleville, Maryland Loch Lynn Heights, 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 Bucyrus, Ohio Dayton, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Hilliard, Ohio Lebanon, Ohio Montrose-ghent, Ohio Pocola, Oklahoma Salem, Oregon Greencastle, Pennsylvania Lebanon, Pennsylvania Milford, Pennsylvania Millersburg, Pennsylvania Norristown, Pennsylvania Valencia, Pennsylvania Conway, South Carolina Madison, Tennessee Garland, Texas Martindale, Texas Bluefield, Virginia Floyd, Virginia Lake Monticello, Virginia Merrimac, Virginia (2 reports) Edgewood, Washington Kalama, Washington Liberty, West Virginia Merrimac, Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin