Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.)

General: Erect slender plant with purple flowers that look as if they are attached to the stem. 

Height: Grows up to 2m tall. 

Flowers: Flowers are usually blue but can be purple or white. They are 4cm in diameter. Petals are serrated at the ends. They close at night and on cloudy days.

Leaves/Stems: Leaves at the bottom are larger, oblong and have toothed edges. They are 8-25cm long and can be up to 7cm wide. Leaves become smaller near the top of the plant. Stems of this plant a number of branches. 

Root: Deep taproot.

Coffeeweed, blue sailors, succory, Belgium endive

Native plant called Showy Daisy (Erigeron speciosus)

Differences: Showy Daisy has flowers at the top of the plant stem and has a yellow middle with light purple petals.

Where did it come from? Originally from Eurasia.

Where does it grow here? It grows on roadsides in the southern part of BC. It adapts well to wide range of conditions but often is found on lime rich soils.

Reproduction: Only by seed. 

When does it grow, flower & seed? Flowers July-September. No other information available.

Spreads By: It is possible that this plant is spread by roadside mowing and grading. 

Plant Type: Perennial.

  • The stem contains a milky substance that may cause skin irritation.
  • It can take over roadsides and spread easily once established.
  • It is grown as a hay crop in Europe but can cause dairy products to have a bitter taste if cows eat it.
  • Review your property regularly for this species.
  • Treatment Remove small patches before it flowers & sets seed. Mowing chicory repeatedly before it seeds can reduce infestations. Repeated treatments will be necessary. When hand-pulling or digging, remove the entire plant including the root.
  • Cover bare patches or disturbed soil by planting or seeding with non-invasives.
  • Check areas where you have removed invasives for any new plants that year and in future growing seasons.
  • Dispose of invasive plants responsibly. Bag them for disposal at the local landfill.  Composting and burning is not recommended.
  • Contact LRISS for specific treatment recommendations.

E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia