[Members of the Sunflower Family with Dandylion-like Flower Heads]


Cichorum intybus

The photo above shows a close-up of the ray flowers that make up a flower head of chicory as seen at about 3000' on the south side of Mt. Adams...................August 25, 2005.

Chicory from Beacon Rock State Park shore, Columbia River Gorge......October 1989.

Chicory is an erect perennial to 170 cm tall arising from a taproot. The stems are stout and well branched. The leaves are mainly basal, simple but deeply toothed/lobed, with the general appearance of dandylion leaves. The basal leaves are lanceolate or spatulate in shape with toothed or lobed margins and petioled bases. They range from 8-15 cm long. The stem leaves are much reduced in size and are lanceolate in shape with clasping bases and toothed margins .

Both the stems and leaves are a deep green color. The stems contain a milky white sap.

The flower heads are numerous on the stems, appearing in clusters or by themselves on the upper stems. The large flower heads are a medium blue (occasionally white) and up to 4 cm in diameter. The flowers are all ray flowers. The involucre ranges from 9-15 mm high an consists of 8-10 bracts, the outer 4-5 bracts being short and spreading.


Chicory is a weedy plant of disturbed places, including roadsides, fields, and waste areas.


A widely distributed weed originally from Eurasia, chicory is now common west of the Cascade crest, and into the Columbia River Gorge (west of The Dalles) between the elevations of 100'-3000'.

Note that the outer (basal) involucral bracts are shorter than the inner (upper) bracts.

Paul Slichter