Chicory 'Pan Di Zucchero'

Cichorium intybus 'Pan di Zucchero'

Chicory 'Pain De Sucre', Chicory 'Sugar Loaf',

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An upright plant with beautiful bright blue flowers. Chicory is thought to have been cultivated as a food plant since about 300 BC, and is still today enjoyed throughout the culinary world. It is best known for being a substitute or additive to coffee. A highly ornamental, but invasive, plant it can be enjoyed in various temperate and cold climate gardens not only for its edible qualities but also for its medicinal applications. This variety is traditionally grown as a salad green.

Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

The leaves should be harvested while the leaves are young and tender. If the plants are being grown for their roots then they should be pulled from the soil just before the last frost date. The leaves should be trimmed to about 2.5 cm from the crown and the roots should be trimmed to a uniform size.

Propagation

Seed

Sow in thin rows in sun in most soils. Best to dig plot over in the previous autumn and add compost if soil is poor. Rake in some general fertilizer onto the prepared bed's surface a few days before sowing.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Attracts insects such as bees.

Pot plant

Can grow in large containers which can hold its extensive root systems, and provided it is given enough sunlight and good drainage holes.

Attracts birds

Crop rotation

Can be sown in the Autumn months for it's young leaves.

Special features

Origin

Europe

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

A treatment for gallstones, gastro-enteritis, sinus problems and cuts and bruises, increases absorption of calcium and other minerals. Well known for its toxicity to internal parasites.

Edible

The flowers, leaves and roots are used for salad, baked, ground and used as a coffee substitute and additive. Also grown as food for livestock. The roots are stored in sand to give white leaves.

Notes

Culinary, medicinal

Personality

Family

Asteraceae

Flower colour

Blue

Scent

None

Problems

Pests include aphids (Green peach aphid, Lettuce aphid, Plum aphid), darkling beetles, flea beetles, loopers (Cabbage looper, Alfalfa looper), slugs & snails and thrips. Diseases include anthracnose, bacteral soft rot, bottom rot, damping-off, downy mildew, fusarium wilt, septoria blight, and white mold.