09.03.2019 Chicory

The subject of roadside weeds the other day brought up some similarities between Wild Lettuce-Lactuca spp and Chicory-Cichorium intybus. Wild Lettuce is a native while Chicory is alien.  Both are prolific, can be added to salads (among other things),  have similar looking flowers, and are members of the Aster family.


Wild Lettuce

Also, as mentioned in the Wild Lettuce post, they both are only open in bright daylight.  Yesterday was a nice bright overcast sky for a while before it rained so much easier to get an even balance to the lighting than in full sun.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, wildflower portrait, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to 09.03.2019 Chicory

  1. I may have mentioned to you that as we drove around the Northeast in the second half of July and the first week of August, the two most common wildflowers we saw along the roads were chicory and Queen Anne’s lace, both alien invasives. In addition to putting chicory leaves in salads, people have used roasted chicory roots as a coffee substitute and coffee additive.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You did. I saw a lot of that combination while making these images.

      As a kid, my mother decided to try different greens in our salads. Chicory was one…kind of scratchy. Didn’t care much for kale and still don’t.


  2. I sometimes order a New Orleans- style coffee/chicory blend, and it’s delicious. I’ve always liked this shade of blue, whatever it might be called, nice shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Todd Henson says:

    I’ve always loved the blue of Chicory, and like Steve S. it often seems one of the most common wildflowers along the roads. I will have to keep my eyes open for Wild Lettuce.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lemony says:

    Beautiful, especially the detail and color of the first.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Your photos make them look like the stars they are. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres says:

    The first time I remember seeing chicory was in Kansas. It looked much like our skeleton plant, except that it was blue rather than lavender. I like both of them, for their structures as much as for their colors. Another plant whose bloom resembles them (at least to my eye) is Carolina elephant’s foot (Elephantopus carolinianus), which I’ve only recently met. It’s interesting that while chicory has only ray flowers, the elephant’s foot has only disk flowers.

    I like the little teeth on the ends of the ray flowers. They’re cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope to see your elephant’s foot flower. The preview on my LCD on the back of the camera in LiveView 10x really helped settle on there the focus should be to get those petal details the way I wanted. When you are that close and using a macro lens it’s a challenge.
      A lot of folks are saying they enjoy this shade of blue. I am among those.


  7. Ann Mackay says:

    Love the way you’ve captured the detail – and that gorgeous blue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was worried about the color capture as it was a gray day with a few rain drops here and there. But that allowed the blue to shine in a way that bright light would have deterred. And the detail was the challenge at such close range. Thanks, Ann.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. krikitarts says:

    Really a wonderful blue, very similar to that of cornflowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a kid we grew Bachelor’s Buttons and blue was my favorite. Years later I found them growing in a median strip along the NY State Thruway. They are more two-tones than the Chicory but you are right…the blues are similar. Thanks, Gary.


  9. Both beautiful, in detail and in color, as all the others have said. Makes one wonder, what makes a weed a weed?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Michael.
      I guess different folks have different tolerances for uninvited guests. There are only a few encroaching plants that we dislike…Poison Ivy being at the top of the list. I don’t think having “weed” as part of the name is a very true definition.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Anything blue is wonderful and these flowers are simply gorgeous. I first saw chicory on an Audubon field trip about 45 years ago. In Louisiana chicory is added to coffee and it is utterly delicious. In fact, I think chicory coffee is sold in stores.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. …and chicory root can be dried, ground and used as a coffee substitute…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. shoreacres says:

    A fellow whose blog I follow coincidentally posted about chicory this week. Several facts in the post fascinated me; I had no idea that endive and radicchio are related. Funny that you mentioned spring mix and romaine. Those are my preferences, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the link, Linda. I just followed him. His description of his introvert’s awkwardness rang familiar as it is only in recent years that I have become more interested in being with other people…but only just slightly. Last autumn’s experience made me appreciate people after meeting so many caring folks. 🙂
      I was also unaware of the connection between chicory, endive and radicchio. WE generally don’t have any of those in our salads unless we get something fancy while dining out which is rare and infrequent. One of the pleasures of going to Maine is the occasional dinner or lunch in a restaurant. We rent a cottage and prepare most of our meals although I do try to support the local economy if I can.
      It was all spring mix during the romaine recall.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. bluebrightly says:

    i never thought about the similarity – thanks for showing these tow striking photos together, Steve. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. bluebrightly says:

    And the Chicory with Queen Anne’s Lace? That says driving to work to me, along the highway, in the summer. That sight got me though many a New York morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. melissabluefineart says:

    Yes and sometimes there is the accent of goat weed, if I’m remembering the right name/plant, with its splash of warm yellow to contrast with the blue and white of chicory and queen Anne’s lace. As others have mentioned, I really love the blue of chicory and your images of it really do it justice. I like wild lettuce, too. I’m not one to forage, though. I’ve nibbled the odd dandelion but that’s as far as it goes in my salad bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know several people who do like to forage and I suppose it really doesn’t do that much harm as the plants seem to keep coming back annually. But I like to co-exist.


      • melissabluefineart says:

        I have read some native American writers who will tell you that some plants will in fact die out if they are NOT harvested (with care, of course.) I found that a startling insight, and very likely true. The land managers here will say what a puzzle it is when certain plants will shrink in numbers or wink out altogether even when the area is being carefully managed to protect them. It may be that we should be using them, too!

        Liked by 1 person

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