There’s just something about a blue-coloured flower that catches my eye and this Chicory grabbed me by the eyeballs as I walked home from Penarth Marina yesterday.
Although Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a native British wildflower, these particular plants were not truly wild; they’re growing in a series of large wildflower beds planted around the edges of Penarth Marina Park. (Interestingly, the park itself is also artificial – it was once part of the inner basin of Penarth Docks, then became a rubbish dump, before being repurposed as a park in the 1980s – details and photos here.)
Chicory, also known as Succory, used to be widely cultivated. Its spears (buds) and leaves were eaten, and the dried and ground root has been used as a substitute for coffee. I think I’ll stick with my cup of tea, thanks.