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Chicory is also known by its scientific name of Cichorium incubus. You may also know this by some other common names such as blue daisy, blue dandelion, horseweed, and even coffee weed. This plant was originally from the Mediterranean, and it quickly became distributed throughout the rest of the world. This perennial is found growing wild and great numbers along roads, in lawns, fields and pastures. It can tolerate many different soil conditions, and it does just fine in full sunlight and partial shade. It grows best in USDA Climate Zones 3 to 9. It needs very little maintaining to keep them looking gorgeous. They do require some slight pruning during the summer months, and if left alone then it will simply continue to grow and can take over an area.
This plant will initially have gorgeous rosette leaves and then later in the season small sky blue flowers will appear. These flowers will open each morning and then they will begin to close in the late afternoon. The flowers will be visible from June thru September. This perennial is also used as a salad green as well; you can find these fresh leaves being sold in many markets throughout Italy and other countries. They are used in salads, and can even be cooked. If you are growing this to harvest the leaves for consumption then you will want to remove the leaves before the middle area thickens if you are eating them raw. If cooking then you can let the leaves completely mature. The flowers on this plant were previously uses for yellow dye one would be used to make a blue dye. Many folklore tales tell of using this plant for many medicinal purposes. The roots were used for jaundice, spleen issues and even to aid with constipation.