Chicory

Chichorium intybus

Keys to Identification

  • Blue dandelion shaped flowers
  • Petals with notched, toothed tips
  • Smooth stems

Family

Asteraceae – Sunflower family

Other Names

Blue sailors

USDA Code

CIIN

Legal Status

Colorado Noxious Weed List C

Identification

Lifecycle

Biennial or Perennial

Growth form

Forb/herb

Flower

Flowers are blue to lilac sometimes white, to 1½ inches wide, dandelion shaped, petals squared on tip and toothed

Flowers July-September

Seeds/Fruit

Seeds are ¾ inch long, brown, with a pappus, 3,000 per plant

Leaves

Leaves are alternate, 3-10 inches long and ½-2¾ inches wide, dark green with some red tones, lance-shaped, smooth leaf margins, fine hairs on both leaf surfaces. Become sparse on the stems

Stems

Stems long, hollow, nearly naked, branching. Green to reddish colored. Have white sap when cut

Roots

Taproot

Seedling

Rosette early-spring. Looks like a large dandelion

Similar Species

Exotics

Bachelor buttons

Natives

None

Impacts

Agricultural

Invades grasslands and pastures

Ecological

Displaces desirable plants

Human

Persistent perennial development, combined with prolific seeding causes significant financial and productivity concerns in home gardens, yards and landscape areas
Has been cultivated for forage

Habitat and Distribution

General requirements

Found on roadsides, vacant land, and cultivated fields. May sometimes move into grasslands and pastures

Distribution

Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Is found throughout the continental US and Canada

Historical

Known in North America since the 1700’s

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Chicory flowerChicory petalChicory stemChicory on roadside