I remember chicory as a common flower of vacant lots and streetside hellstrips of my urban childhood. It seems odd to me that I see it so rarely now that I live in the country where my town has lots of dirt roads, and where even the paved roads are edged by sandy soil and woodlands or fields.
I’ve always loved the blue flowers of chicory, and I did know that the roots were sometimes dried and ground and used as a coffee substitute. I didn’t know that root chicory was Cichorium intybus var. sativum. Of course, chicory leaves are also edible, but are not to be confused with the salad green sold as chicory but which is really witlof or Belgian endive. Neither is it what the Italians call radicchio
I was delighted to find this little clump of chicory with its beautiful blue flowers blooming in the parking lot where I left my car yesterday afternoon. This is my childhood memory of a tough, beautiful flower blooming in a less than beautiful spot. This is a flower that could catch a young child’s imagination, blooming where no flower could be expected.
To hear stories of more wildflowers click here. Thank you Gail, for hosting Wildflower Wednesday.