6 months to reach maturity
This plant has no fragrance
More images of Wild Chicory
Wild Chicory Overview
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 species is best known in Britain as a coffee substitute where the roots are roasted and ground. They are grown like small lettuces and will vary greatly in colouring and leaf shape. It will produce pale blue flowers in the summer and autumn. These heads may be harvested in late summer. This plant is often found in the wild in Northern Europe.
Common problems with Wild Chicory
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.
How to harvest Wild Chicory
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.
How to propagate Wild Chicory
Sow in Spring and space plants 20-30 cm apart. Germination time is 8-14 days.
Special features of Wild Chicory
Attracts useful insects
Attracts insects such as bees.
Can grow in large containers which can hold its extensive root systems, and provided it is given enough sunlight and good drainage holes.
Other uses of Wild Chicory
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.
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.