Cichorium intybus L.


Cichorium intybus is a biennial to perennial herbaceous plant that can grow from 1-5 ft. (0.3-1.5 m) tall. It has erect, round, hollow, nearly leafless, green to reddish brown stems that produce a milky sap when cut. Lower part of stems are hairy. It is native to Africa, both temperate and tropical Asia and Europe.
Rosette leaves are 2-6 in. (5.1-15 cm) long, oblong with rough hairs on upper and lower surfaces. Margins may be shallowly toothed or deeply dissected. Lance-shaped stem leaves are small, sparse, alternate, and clasping with margins either smooth or slightly toothed.
The flowers are in showy clusters on the upper branches. Each flower has bright blue petals with toothed squared off ends. Flowers usually bloom in the morning and close later in the day.
Fruits are about 0.13 in. (0.3 cm) long, dark brown and wedge shaped. Fruits contains one seed. Each plant can produce as many as 3000 seeds.
Ecological Threat
C. intybus prefers well-drained or moderately drained soils along roadsides, railroads, disturbed sites, waste ground, and cultivated fields. Although it is mostly limited to roadsides and waste places, it can encroach upon higher grade dry prairies habitats. It is listed as a noxious weed in some states. C. intybus resembles native Showy Blue Lettuce (Mulgedium pulchellum).

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

State Regulated List
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Cichorium
Subject: Cichorium intybus L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
blue sailors, coffeeweed, Common chicory, succory


Plants - Forbs/Herbs