Cichorium intybus (Blue Chicory)

Full Sun
Soil Type:
Mainly dry
Soil Type:
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Plant Overview

A tall plant and although possibly not native to the UK, it has been known here since at least Roman times, and has naturalised. The flowers are usually sky blue in colour and have 15-20 petals which open in bright light. It likes well drained soils (sand and chalk) and is often found on roadsides, rough grasslands and wastelands.

Easy to grow in a herb bed or towards the back of a border. 

The leaves can be eaten as salad leaves. The dried and ground roots have been used as a coffee substitute and also to give a bitter taste to coffee.

Height: 1.2m

Myth and Legend

The origin of Chicory is described in a German folk tale. A young woman sat down at the side of a road to weep for her dead lover. None could console her, and so great was her grief that she resolved never to stop weeping unless she was turned into a flower. She was transformed into the wegwort, the chicory.

If prepared correctly, the chicory is said to be able to render the bearer invisible whenever they wish. Sadly the correct way to prepare it elludes us!

Chicory is one of the bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover and is generally considered to be a symbol of the good fortune that is to follow.

In the UK the flowers open around 7am and close again at noon.

On upland slopes the shepherds mark
The hour, when as the dial true,
Cichorium to the towering Lark,
Lifts her soft eyes, serenely blue. (From The Horolodge Of The Fields, 1749)

Common name(s): Blue Chicory; Blue daisy; Blue dandelion; Blue sailors; Blue weed; Bunk; Coffeeweed; Cornflower; Hendibeh; Horseweed; Ragged sailors; Succory; Wild bachelor's buttons; Wild endive.

All our plants are supplied in 9cm pots unless otherwise specified. Plants in this size pot establish quickly in the garden and often outpace plants in bigger pots planted at the same time. Our potted plants can be planted immediately, unless otherwise noted, or you can leave them in their pots until you are ready to plant.
The majority of our plants are grown outdoors. This means that they follow their natural growth patterns and are ready to plant at any time of the year. If you order the plants in winter, they are likely to be dormant and died back to ground level, ready to shoot again in spring - just like the herbaceous perennials in your own garden. Very occasionally, in winter, we may indicate on the packing slip that a plant needs to be hardened off before planting out. This will be because it has just come out of a polytunnel. If you have any questions about our plants or growing methods, please feel free to drop us an email.
We grow most of what we sell ourselves, in our nursery in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Our prices include VAT at 20%.