Asteraceae (Aster Family)
A wiry, tall weed, growing to a height of 30 - 180 cm.
Distinguishing Features - Leaves: oned near base, lanceolate, 7.5 - 25 cm long, pinnately toothed or lobed, edged with small sharp teeth; upper leaves smaller. Flowers: pale blue, heads up to 5 cm wide. Fruit: seed-like, with tiny scales at tip. Stem juice milky.
Introduced to North America from Eurasia; found throughout many regions of southern Canada and most of the United States; most common in regions with ample rain; on roadsides and fields.
Although considered a weed, Chicory is sought for its food uses and is cultivated as well; roasted and ground roots can be used as a substitute for coffee or an additive. The young leaves can be used as greens in salads. It is closely related to the Endive Cichorium endivia, which is grown as a salad plant.
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