AY Honors/Edible Wild Plants/Chicory
Description: Chicory is a spindly plant with purple (though sometimes pink or white) flowers. The petals are narrow, notched at the tips, and numerous. The flowers fold up in the afternoon, opening again in the morning.
Where found: Originating from Europe, it was naturalized in North America, where it has become a widespread roadside weed.
Availability: Early spring (leaves), Fall to Spring (roots)
Use: The roots are washed, roasted, ground, and brewed as a coffee substitute (use 1.5 tsp per cup of water). In the spring the white, underground portion of the leaves are an excellent addition to salads, and the green above-ground portions can be boiled and eaten as greens.