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Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
Chicory Cichorium intybus

Chicory is a perennial herb that grows from a long taproot. Its basal leaves are similar to those of the dandelion. Stem leaves alternate and are hairy. The upper leaves clasp the stem at their base. The leaves and stem contain a milky sap. Stems are branched. Numerous one to one and one-half inch flowers are produced on the tip of the stem. The stalkless flowers are usually blue but may be white or pink. The flower rays are square-tipped and fringed. Flowers open in the morning and close each day by noon. The dry, five-sided fruit has a few scales at the tip. Chicory grows to three feet tall.

Chicory may be found throughout Illinois. It grows in open, disturbed soil and along roads. Flowers are produced from June through October. Chicory is a native of Europe that was transported to the United States with early settlers and has spread tremendously.

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