This plant grows up to 1.8 meters tall. It has leaves clustered
at the base of the stem and some leaves on the stem. The base
leaves resemble those of the dandelion. The flowers are sky blue
and stay open only on sunny days. Chicory has a milky juice.
Habitat and Distribution
Look for chicory in old fields, waste areas, weedy lots, and
along roads. It is a native of Europe and Asia, but is also found
in Africa and most of North America where it grows as a weed.
All parts are edible. Eat the young leaves as a salad or boil
to eat as a vegetable. Cook the roots as a vegetable. For use
as a coffee substitute, roast the roots until they are dark brown
and then pulverize them.
If you find the old plants in the winter, you can often find
the new young shoots growing under the leaves and dead grass.
This is a good source of some winter vitamins, but not many calories.