We planted some lettuce mix last fall. Not much came up, except this curly endive.
It was rather bitter and no one in our family really cared for it.
That’s why we didn’t really mind when it started to bolt, or go to flower.
Actually, we were glad it did flower, because it revealed its “roots” so to speak. Have you ever seen an endive flower?
Does this blue flower look familiar? This is the endive flower, but it looks like the flower of another plant.
It reminded us of the roadside weed called common chicory.
The plant we call curly endive is Cichorium endivia. The common roadside wildflower is Cichorium intybus, a member of the same genus.
Common chicory roots are used as a coffee substitute or additive. Its leaves can be used in salads as well, although they are also known to be bitter.
I will never look at endive in quite the same way now I know its relatives. What about you?
See Purdue for more information about common chicory.