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Blue Chicory
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is another common weed found in Chicago. It can be spotted growing alongside roads and in empty lots throughout the city. It is a bushy perennial that is native to Europe but has naturalized in North America. In Europe it has a very long history as an herb with various uses in the kitchen and as a medicinal plant.

The blue hue of the flowers is actually much nicer in person. One time I spotted a pink- colored shrub growing between two blue flowering shrubs near an on-ramp on the south side of Chicago. I like the flowers so much that I've taken cuttings to use it as a cut flower but the cuttings wilted before I put them in water. I haven't noticed any butterflies or other beneficial insects attractd to these and a Google search doesn't give any info. This particular plant was growing near the other weeds I've recently posted.

source: Chicory


  1. I like chicory; if there are going to be weeds along the roadside, I like them to be chicory, because at least it is a pretty flower. That's a great picture of it.

  2. I am actually considering digging some of this up from our roadside here, and planting it in my garden. I just LOVE it. Very pretty picture you've taken of it!

    I have a spot I want to put some Bird's Foot Trefoil, too.

  3. In the south chicory is used to brew a drink something like coffee. I used to have a friend who loved it and would buy cans of it whenever she went down to Louisiana.

  4. Hi all thanks for stopping by. Glad to see there are others that appreciate this flower.

    Me, I read it is also used in a food dish in New Orleans. I'm going to try it in coffee and see what I think.

  5. I didn't realize the flowers of chicory were so complex. I'll have to take a closer look next time I see some. I always liked the blue alongside the roads. They seemingly love to grow in the toughest places, gravelly, sandy, where other plants, even weeds wouldn't grow. No competition there I guess.

    I read somewhere that the French routinely add it to their coffee. I think during WWII it was used in place of coffee in Europe when coffee was almost impossible to get.

  6. I like this plant also, and collect seeds every fall to try and get some to grow in my garden, but no luck so far. I'm guessing it's either reistent to cultivation, or the sites I'm choosing just aren't gravelly and lean enough. Oh well, at least there's plenty of plants to collect seed from!

  7. Ki,

    Let me know if you take pics. I keep meaning to go back and take some more that are closer but someone decided to pull up the Chicory plants that were growing near me.


    That's pretty funny. I love how sometimes "weeds" won't grow for us when we want them to.



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