I’m enjoying cycling to work since my 45 minute commute takes me through rolling countryside and past farmland. I’ve got time to enjoy the scenery and dodge the slugs that seem to gather on the damp roads in the early morning. I’ve also noticed that the edges of the roads are awash in the blue of Chicory (Cichorium intybus), a European weed that seems to be doing very well here in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
A member of Asteraceae (Sunflower Family), Chicory has a beautiful blue flower head that consists of ray flowers only. Its root can be roasted, ground and made into a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. If you’re interested in finding out more about the experience of making “chicory coffee” head over to The Hawk Owl’s Nest and check out Patrick’s post Chicory Coffee. I haven’t found a traffic-free location yet that isn’t on the edge of a busy rural road to harvest this wonderful weed so I’m just going to enjoy the flowers while they last.