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Cichorium pumilum.jpg
Wild endive (Cichorium pumilum)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Cichorium
Type species
Cichorium intybus[1][2]

Cichorium is a genus of plants in the dandelion tribe within the sunflower family.[4][2] The genus includes two cultivated species commonly known as chicory or endive, plus several wild species.[5]

Flower of common chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a bushy perennial herb with blue or lavender (or, rarely, white or pink) flowers. It grows as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America, where it has become naturalized. It is grown for its leaves, when it is known as leaf chicory, endive, radicchio, Belgian endive, French endive, or witloof. Other varieties are grown for their roots, which are used as a coffee substitute, similar to dandelion coffee.

True endive (Cichorium endivia) is a species grown and used as a salad green. It has a slightly bitter taste and has been attributed with herbal properties. Curly endive and the broad-leafed escarole are true endives.

Cichorium is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Setaceous Hebrew Character, Turnip Moth, and the grass moth Diasemia reticularis.

  1. Cichorium alatum Hochst. & Steud. - Europe, Arabian Peninsula, drier parts of Africa from Algeria to Namibia[6]
  2. Cichorium bottae Deflers - Saudi Arabia, Yemen
  3. Cichorium callosum Pomel - North Africa
  4. Cichorium calvum Sch.Bip. ex Asch. - Egypt, Ethiopia, Palestine, Israel, Jordan
  5. Cichorium dubium E.H.L.Krause - Europe
  6. Cichorium endivia L. - Mediterranean
  7. Cichorium hybridum Halácsy - Greece
  8. Cichorium intybus L. - probably Europe; now very widespread invasive
  9. Cichorium pumilum Jacq. - Mediterranean
  10. Cichorium spinosum L. - Mediterranean

Formerly included[3] are several species[which?] now considered better suited to other genera: Aposeris, Arnoseris, Geigeria, Rhagadiolus, Tolpis.


  1. ^ lectotype designated by Green, Prop. Brit. Bot.: pg 178. 1929
  2. ^ a b Tropicos, Cichorium L.
  3. ^ a b c Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 2: 813
  5. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Cichorium includes photos and distribution maps for 4 species
  6. ^ Kyffhäuser flora

External links[edit]