Chicory is a thick-rooted, usually blue-flowered, perennial herb widely grown for its young leaves which are used as salad greens and for its dried roots to flavor coffee. In many areas chicory has escaped to become a serious weed pest.
Common chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink. Various varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock. It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized. 'Chicory' is also the common name in the United States for curly endive (Cichorium endivia); these two closely related species are often confused. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed.
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