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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Cichorium (Endive, Chicory)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid II > Order: Asterales > Family: Asteraceae > Tribe: Lactuceae

The eight species are native to Europe, the Mediterranean region and Ethiopia. Four species are cultivated in southern Africa but Cichorium intybus (Chicory) is also found as an escape in natural areas near where it is cultivated.

Species naturalised southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI) and Flora of Zimbabwe.

Cichorium intybus (Chicory)

Eaten raw (eg. in salads), or braised or fried. Root used as substitute of coffee. Originates from Europe and western Asia. Besides being cultivated, it also grows as a weed in South Africa. 


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Cichorium calvum

Native from tropical Africa to Pakistan.

Cichorium endivia (Endive)

Mainly used in salads. Originates from Southern Asia and northern China. The broad-leafed variety is known as escarole.


Cichorium glandulosum

Native to Turkey and Syria.