This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Erect branching herbs, with alternate and basal leaves, those of the stem and branches usually very small and bract-like, and large heads of blue purple pink or white flowers, peduncled, or in sessile clusters along the branches. Involucre of 2 series of herbaceous bracts, the outer somewhat spreading, the inner erect and subtending, or partly enclosing, the outer achenes. Receptacle flat, naked, or slightly fimbrillate. Rays truncate and 5-toothed at the apex. Anthers sagittate at the base. Style-branches slender, obtusish. Achenes 5-angled or 5-ribbed, truncate, not beaked. Pappus of 2 or 3 series of short blunt scales. [From the Arabic name.]
About 8 species, natives of the Old World, the following typical.
Cichorium Intybus L. Sp. Pl. 813. 1753.
Cichorium Intybus divaricatum DC. Prodr. 7: 84. 1838.
Perennial from a long deep tap-root; stems slightly hispid, stiff, much branched, 1°-3° high. Basal leaves spreading, runcinate-pinnatifid, dentate or lobed, spatulate, 3'-6' long, narrowed into long petioles; upper leaves much smaller, lanceolate or oblong, lobed or entire, clasping and auricled at the base; heads numerous, 1'-1 1/2' broad, 1-4 together in sessile clusters on the nearly naked or bracted branches, or sometimes peduncled; inner bracts of the involucre about 8; flowers blue, or sometimes white.
Roadsides, fields and waste places, Nova Scotia to Minnesota, Washington, North Carolina, Kansas, Colorado and California. Bermuda. The ground-up root is used as a substitute or adulterant for coffee. Heads usually closed by noon. The flowers sometimes bear supplementary rays. Blue daisy or dandelion. Coffee-weed. Bachelor's-buttons. Consists of several races. July-Oct.