One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Recognize this flower as you humans speed by in your cars?

Mystery #155

Give us a guess of what it is. We’ll be back to fill in the answer this evening.

~~~

We had a correct guess today! I’d hoped to give you humans a hint by letting you know Common chicory, Cichorium intybus, is frequently seen along your roadsides and, as one commenter pointed out, just about every other wild place.

Common Chickory plants

It has many common names, and I shall have to hang my head a bit, because one of them is ‘cornflower’, a guess foreman reader!. Other interesting ones are ragged sailors, blue dandelion, wild bachelor’s buttons and coffeeweed.

Yes, coffee! The roots used to be used for coffee once they were baked and ground up. Maybe that’s how chicory plants came over from Europe, perhaps on purpose. It’s not a native here, but grows so widely you might assume it is. Chicory has many other uses, but please do not rely on squirrels to tell you about wild edible plants–do your own human research!

Another reader commented she’d found it impossible to pick the flowers as a child. Chicory is tough and known for it’s woody stem, which probably makes life along those roads a bit easier.

Common Chickory

The leaves clasp the stems to hold on, too. LOL.

Clasping leaves of Common Chickory

Look for chicory blooming now through August, but we squirrels have noted that the flowers seem to be open mainly in the morning. Has anyone else noted that?

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11 thoughts on “One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

  1. Never knew what it was called, but remember when I was a kid and saw these beautiful flowers I’d want to pick them. Unfortunately the stems were so tough I could never break the flowers off. I’d end up tearing the flower to bits and end up with a handful of petals and hands stained with green from the mangled stem.

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