Scientific name: Cichorium intybus
Common names: Chicory, Blue daisy, Blue weed, Coffee weed, Sigorei
Seeding rate: 0.6 – 0.8 g/m² (6 – 8 kg/ha)
Growth cycle: Perennial
Growth season: Cool season
Chicory is a short-lived perennial herb adapted to temperate regions. It is a palatable and nutritious feed and pollinated by bees and flies. Leaves grow in rosettes, are oblong or lance-shaped and covered with hairs on both sides. Flower stems grow from the crown producing blue flowers and dark brown seeds. It has a deep, thick, fleshy taproot. Chicory originates from Europe and the northern parts of Africa and has been cultivated since ancient Egyptian times. It was used as an addition to or a substitute for coffee. Chicory is a short-term forage for finishing livestock, used as a cover crop and as silage. It is usually sown with perennial clovers such as white clover or with perennial ryegrass. It is a cool-season plant that is tolerant to cold and can grow during mild winter. Annual rainfall of 400 – 800 mm is recommended. It is moderately to highly tolerant of frost, moderately drought tolerant but not shade tolerant. It is used as an alternative to Lucerne where soils are acidic.