Desert Chicory


Scientific Name: Rafinesquia species

Common Name: Desert Chicory
Family: Asteraceae, Aster or Sunflower Family

Duration: Annual, taproot
Size: Up to 2 feet.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, one or more stems from base, branching; milky sap, all parts smooth (glabrous).
Leaves: Green; few leaves, alternate, divided (pinnately lobed) with narrow teeth-like lobes, lower leaves 4 inches or so in length, upper leaves reduced to bract-like appendages.

Flower Color: White flower heads about 1½ inches, showy; strap-shaped (ligulate) ray flowers only, and flower heads on terminal end of stem; fruit is an achene. The rays are white above and sometimes have a reddish maroon-streaked below.
Flowering Season: February to July.

Comments: The common name of Desert Chicory is adapted from its similarity to Common Chicory, Cichorium intybus which is bright blue and found throughout Arizona and the United States.