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Friday 1 July 2022

Chicory - chicorium intybus

 Really quite a rare find in ulster these days, this beautiful sky blue plant often comes up along disturbed ground or road side verges. Although usually growing to about 5 ft tall this particular plant was closer to 10ft!! 

The whole plant is edible even though it's incredibly bitter, however this makes it useful as a tea for digestive problems and to quell stomach issues.

Speaking of drinks, one of the most common uses of the plant is as a coffee substitute made from the roasted and ground root, it tastes appalling !!

The beautiful flower was said in lore to have been originally white, but a knight going off to the crusades reached up to the sky and took a piece of it and upon touching the flower it turned blue, he gave it to his true love saying whenever she saw the flower or the sky she was to remember him. He never came home and his love died from a broken heart, and the plant which was once sweet to the taste turned bitter thereafter.

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