Cichorium pumilum Jacq.
Cichorium pumilum f. pumilum, Cichorium pumilum var. pumilum, Cichorium ambiguum, Cichorium dichotomum, Cichorium divaricatum, Cichorium endivia subsp. pumilum, Cichorium glandulosu, Cichorium intybus subsp. pumilum, Cichorium minimum, Cichorium nanum, Cichorium noeanum, Cichorium polystachyum
Bloom Time: July to October
Cichorium pumilum is an erect annual herb with usually 2 to 3 lateral branches or rarely branched from the base. It grows up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall and produces bluish-violet flower heads and fleshy taproots.
USDA hardiness zone 6a to 9b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Seeds can be started indoors five to six weeks before they are moved outdoors. In warm climates, sowing outdoors or transplanting occurs from September through March. Planting Chicory in cooler climates should be done three to four weeks before the frost's danger has passed.
Sow Chicory seeds 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) apart in rows 2 to 3 feet (60 to 0) apart. You can always thin the plants if they crowd each other, but close planting discourages weeds. The seeds are planted 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep, and thinning is done when the plants have three to four true leaves.
You can also sow a crop for fall harvest if you choose a variety with an early maturation date. Planting Chicory seed 75 to 85 days before the anticipated harvest will ensure a late crop.
Chicory plants that are to be forced for blanched leaves will need to have the roots dug up before the first frost. Cut the leaves to 1 inch (2.5 cm) and store the roots for three to seven weeks in the refrigerator before forcing. Plant the roots individually after chilling to force the leaves to grow in a tight, blanched head.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Chicory.
This species is native to the Mediterranean region.
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