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Chicory, Endive
Pest issues:Some serious
Disease issues:Some
Weediness:All species can become weedy

Chicory is the common name given to the flowering plants in genus Cichorium of the family Asteraceae. There are two cultivated species, and four to six wild species.

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a bushy perennial herb with blue or lavender flowers. Originating from Europe, it was naturalized in North America, where it has become a roadside weed. The roots are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive in the plant's Mediterranean region of origin, although its use as a coffee additive is still very popular in the American South, particularly in New Orleans, Louisiana. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed. The plant is cultivated and used as endive under the common names radicchio, Belgian endive, French endive, or witloof. It is grown in complete darkness to keep new leaves tender and pale.

Root chicory (Chicorium intybus var. sativum) has been grown since the Middle Ages as a coffee substitute. Around 1970 it was found that the root contains up to 20% inulin. Since then, new strains have been created, giving root chicory an inulin content comparable to that of sugar beet (around 600 dt/ha). Inulin is mainly present in the plant family Asteraceae as a storage carbohydrate (for example Jerusalem artichoke, dahlia, etc.). It is used as a sweetener in the food industry (with a sweetening power 30% higher than that of sucrose). Inulin can be converted to fructose and glucose through hydrolysis.

Chicory, with sugar beet and rye was used as an ingredient of the East German Mischkaffee (mixed coffee), introduced during the 'coffee crisis' of 1976-1979. Chicory, especially the flower, was used as a treatment in Germany, and is recorded in many books as an ancient German treatment for everyday ailments.

True endive (Cichorium endivia) is a species of chicory which is specially grown and used as a salad green. It has a slightly bitter taste and has been attributed with herbal properties. Curly endive and the broad-leafed escarole are true endives. C. Endiva root is used ethnomedically to treat dyspepsia, loss of appetite, liver and gallbladder problems, and intestinal worms, Type II Diabetes, and as a laxative for children.

Generic Characteristics

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Pests and diseases

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Several pests and disease problems can occur both on cultivated plants and on weeds, which can serve as secondary hosts for problems affecting nearby garden plants.[1][2]

Arthropod pests

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  • Mosaic: Turnip mosaic virus
  • Blight: Botrytis cinerea
  • Root and crown rots: Rhizoctonia solani, Pythium spp., Fusarium spp., Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Sclerotinia minor, and Phytophthora spp.
  • Damping-off: Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium spp.
  • Bacterial rots: Xanthomonas spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Erwinia chrysanthemi
  • Anthracnose: Microdochium panattonianum
  • Downy mildews: Bremia lactucae
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