This somewhat woody plant with bright blue flowers, is a Common Chicory of the Asteraceae ( Dandelion) family. In polish it is called 'Cykoria podroznik' what translates to 'Chicory the traveller'. Native to Europe, North Africa and West Asia, it's been also introduced to North America where it has become naturalized. It is a common plant around roadsides, trails and on dry meadows.
Chicory is one of the earliest herbs mentioned in the literature. Horace wrote about his diet of 'olives, chicory and mallows'. Ancient therapists like Virgil, Ovid and Pliny also describe it as a vegetable and a salad ingriedient. This plant have been used by humanity for a long time.
Flowers contains vitaminns and minerals like 'calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin C, K, P and niacin'. Roots contains inuline which gives it a slightly bitter taste. Flowers can be eaten raw or used for salads and dried, roasted and grounded roots were used for ages as a coffee substitute or as a health-benefitting addition to coffee. It is also used as an ingriedient in many world wide cuisines due to it's bitterness and nutritional value.
Chicory's therapeutical uses include help and relief in eye defects, constipation, anaemia, liver and gall bladder functions, respiratory disorders, obstructed menstruation and as a digestive aid.
As for aestetics of appearance, it's groupings looks like a blue stars on the green sky... or maybe i'm just a bit too poetic on that?
Either way, that's a beauty of Nature in another awe-strucking form.
Camera: Sony SLT A-33.
Find out more:
- https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cykoria_podr%C3%B3%C5%BCnik (pl)
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Till the next time!