chicory blue sky

Chicory Blue Sky! (Chicorium intybus). Composite family. Native to Europe,
naturalized in North America. The flowers bloom in the early
morning, and then the same day wilt and lose their color.

Some flowers make you happy; some flowers make you sad. Personally, I
can't help smiling every time I happen upon a wayside Chicory. For that is
where they grow, along roads of every size and description, in those little strips
of left-over wildness that edge the courseways used by trucks and cars.

Yes, when I see Chicory I smile. Our history together goes back a long ways.
It's accompanied me on treks through the Lowlands of Northern Europe, where
it is native. I've grown its cousin, Endive, in my gardens in Holland. And it's
followed me to the Alps, where it grows along roads up to about 1,400 meters
or so. And the mountain people still use Chicory root, roasted a dark earthy brown,
to sweeten their milk-coffee. They smile, too, but with a bit of sadness as they tell
the story of how Chicory replaced coffee altogether during the war.

Chicory seems pretty much naturalized here in North America. Still a weed?
Well, yes, perhaps. But one with a remarkably happy blossom, and a powerful
root that, when the need arises, can help us through even the hardest of times.

| See also a contrasting view of the 'face' of the flower at Roadside Chicory. |

butterfly weed
Weed July
link fence Link
petunias Petunias at
the Beach

(Photograph was made Saturday, the 13th of July, 2002)

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Photographs by Cliff Crego © 2002