Cichorium intybus flowerhead7 CWS
Introduced, warm-season, perennial, tap rooted herb, which forms a rosette when young and an erect, stemmy plant (to 1.5 m tall) when mature. Leaves are large, soft, and hairless (or with short stiff hairs); the margins vary from entire to deeply and irregularly toothed. Flowerheads consist of solitary or grouped heads on erect branched stems; the heads are to 5 cm across and have blue petal-like flowers. Flowering is in spring and summer. A native of Europe, North Africa and Asia, it is sown in irrigated or dryland pastures, but is also
naturalised along roadsides. Best suited to deep, fertile, free-draining soils, with a pHCa above 4.2. Does not like poorly drained soils and will decline rapidly when sown in these areas. Highly nutritious, palatable and capable of high growth rates during warmer months. Susceptible to over-grazing and trampling, particularly during winter. Suitable for silage, but not hay. Sow with white or red clover for a high performance finishing pasture. Lucerne-chicory mix reduces risk of bloat and red gut associated with pure lucerne stands. Rotationally graze for best performance. It declines under set stocking as it requires rest periods of greater than 10 days for recovery. Maintain between 5 cm and 40 cm high and prevent stem elongation for quality. Allow to flower in late summer if regeneration required from seed.