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Common chicory
Botanical illustration of chicory
1885 illustration[1]
Closeup photograph of blue chicory flower
Scientific classification
C. intybus
Binomial name
Cichorium intybus

Common chicory, Cichorium intybus,[4] is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant of the dandelion family Asteraceae. It usually has bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink.[5]

It is often used as a food plant, and often as a coffee substitute. Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or roots. The roots of variety sativum are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and food additive.

In the 21st century, inulin, an extract from chicory root, has been used in food manufacturing as a sweetener and source of dietary fibre.[6]

Chicory is grown as a forage crop for livestock.[7] It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and is now common in North America, China, and Australia, where it has become widely introduced.[8][9][10]

"Chicory" is also the common name in the United States for curly endive (Cichorium endivia). These two closely related species are often confused.[11]


  1. illustration from Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany
  2. "Cichorium intybus L. synonyms". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  3. "Cichorium intybus L.". The Plant List. 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  4. "Cichorium intybus". FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. Retrieved 2013-12-16. 
  5. "Cichorium intybus L.". The Plant List. 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  6. Raninen K.Expression error: Unrecognized word "etal". (2011). "Dietary fiber type reflects physiological functionality: comparison of grain fiber, inulin, and polydextrose". Nutrition Reviews 69 (1): 9–21. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00358.x . PMID 21198631 . 
  7. Blair, Robert (2011-04-30). Nutrition and Feeding of Organic Cattle. ISBN 978-1-84593-758-4 . 
  8. "Cichorium intybus". Flora of North America. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  9. Flora of China, Cichorium intybus Linnaeus, 1753. 菊苣 ju ju Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Atlas of Living Australia Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Endive, Chicory and Witloof". Aggie Horticulture. Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System. Retrieved 2013-12-16.