chicory (chĭkˈərē) [key] or succory sŭkˈərē, Mediterannean herb ( Cichorium intybus ) of the family Asteraceae (aster family), naturalized in North America, where the tall stalks of usually blue flowers are common along waysides and are known as blue-sailors. It is extensively grown in Europe for its root, which, roasted and powdered, is used as a coffee substitute and adulterant. Chicory is also used as a potherb and salad plant; the common type that is blanched for salads is witloof, or French endive. True endive ( C. endivia ), a salad vegetable since antiquity, is cultivated in several broad-leaved and curly-leaved varieties. It is also called escarole. Chicory is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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