Chicory - Cichorium intybus

    Description

    Medium to tall plant. Stiffly hairy or hairless with latex, stems erect, branched. The basal leaves pinnately lobed to deeply toothed and short stalked. Upper leaves lanceolate untoothed or slightly toothed, clasping the stem. Flowerheads clear bright blue 25 to 40 mm in leafy branched spikes, all florets rayed, the rays strap like with a toothed tip.

    Similar Species

    Blue sow-thistle (Cicerbita macrophylla) has similar mauve-blue 'dandelion' flowers on a tall plant. Cicerbita macrophylla has an ovate apical lobe and often a pair of lateral lobes, flattened achenes and a pappus (the 'thistledown' attached to the seed).

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Rough grassy habitats, roadside verges, wasteland and railway verges.

    When to see it

    July to October

    Life History

    Perennial

    UK Status

    Widespread but infrequent in Britain, particularly further north.

    VC55 Status

    Not common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 16 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map