What is the plant I see growing along the sides of the roads right now, with basically no foliage, but gorgeous violet blue flowers? Can I grow them in my garden?
That plant is called Chicory, yes the chicory associated with coffee, and it’s a perennial, an herb, a wildflower, and sometimes, it’s a weed. It is the root of this plant that was harvested in the fall, dried and ground to make a caffeine free coffee substitute. The leaves were used in salads, the flowers for chicory jelly, and many parts of the plants were once used for a number of medicinal purposes. But today, it’s mostly seen decorating our roadways with its beautiful violet blue flowers. By the way, they’re so deeply and well rooted; forget trying to pull one out of the ground. If you want to try and grow some in your garden, try collecting and growing them from seed.