Thursday, June 28, 2012

Digital Photograph - Chicory

A Chicory Blossom

A field of Chicory

What is that old saying "you can not see the forest for the trees". I sort of felt that way when I discovered this field of Chicory. It was a sight to behold. I have always been fascinated by this plant. You seeing it growing along the road, don't think much about it? Long ago when I was married to my first husband we bought this wonderful little farm. Outside our fence, along the road grew these wonderful blue plants. I decided one day to transplant some into my flower garden. One of our neighbor farmers stopped and asked me what I was doing with those weeds and he had some if I wanted them. We both laughed and on he went. I decided to read up on them and see what the big joke was. The joke was on him.

You see the Native Americans used the flower as a dye, the root they dug and ground up and boiled and drank. It tastes a lot like coffee and has quite a bit of caffine in it. They use it now to flavor coffee and gum. The plant itself they used as a poltice for bee stings or to use as a salad. They fed their horses the plant to keep them free of worms. That little blue weed is actually something else. Quite remarkable. 

7 comments:

WrightStuff said...

I photographed that flower while I was on holiday in Greece earlier this month - now I know what it is! It was growing by the roadside there too :)

indybev said...

The old people in the hills knew more about medicine than modern doctors, I believe. Their home remedies and plant uses are endless. The students at Berea College in Kentucky interviewed oldsters in Appalachia, and produced a series of books called "Foxfire" (I believe), which had all sorts of plant lore in them. Fascinating reading.

marda said...

Your chicory is a bit like me day lily. I grew up in the mid-west where they grew like weeds in the ditch banks. When we lived in N.H., we dug some up from a ditch bank to plant in our flower garden.
Now that we're back in Idaho, I've had to buy day lilies.. albeit many different colors than the standard orange "weed" kind.

Naquillity said...

what beautiful pictures. i love chicory. i was rather pleased to find it had so many uses. funny how one person can see something and think it a waste while another can see it for its full potential...

don't you just love a bargain. you got a nice deal for all your tomatoes to grow in. your shelves are nice too. and i would have loved to see what was beyond that gate, :) have a great weekend~

Barb said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Wonderful shot. I too have seen these "blue" flowers along the road side, but until now did not know what they were.
Enjoyed your little story.
Hugs,
Barb

Sharon said...

I have seen this along some roads never knowing what it was, but loving it's color. Thanks for the info. You are always so informative.

James- jamespeter100@hotmail.com said...

Thanks for the info re Chicory.
I wondered what the weed is growing out the back.
It seems to like our 46C days in Adelaide South Australia. (I posted a pic of my Chicory flower on teatreegullydistrictgardenclub.blogspot.com.au)