About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blue daisy like flower on the side of the road

Anyone traveling on the roadways in June is bound to see the sky-blue blossoms of chicory dancing in the wind. Common Chicory Cichorium intybus is also known as blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, bunk, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelor's buttons, and wild endive.

Its cultivation in North America began in the 1700's and ended in about 1950 when it became more economical to import chicory. During that time, chicory escaped cultivation and spread throughout the United States.

Chicory was utilized as a medicine for a wide range of health conditions, adopted as a coffee substitute by Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, used to make a yellow dye with the flowers and blue dye with the leaves and also as a food crop for people and livestock.

Most parts of the plant are edible. Chicory leaves, often found in salads, are also known as endive, frisée, escarole or radicchio. The chicory tap root can be roasted and brewed as a caffeine free coffee substitute, or it can also be boiled and eaten like a vegetable.
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