As I look through my list of potential Colorado wildflowers to include in the Countdown to Spring, I am sort of wishing that I had started this series a month ago! It’s really hard to narrow my selections down to just two weeks worth of flowers!

That having been said, in today’s spotlight is a flower that was a first for me last year, the Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus).

common chicory

common chicory

Chicory has been used in folk medicine and by Native Americans to treat a plethora of ailments, including gallstones, gastro-enteritis, internal parasites, sinus problems, constipation. liver problems, nausea, typhoid, cancer, etc. Probably the best known use for this plant is as a coffee substitute.

I found the lovely flowers in the photos above last summer along the banks of South St. Vrain Creek, just a month before that creek turned into a raging flood that devastated the town of Lyons, Colorado. I am sure that this individual plant no longer exists, but at least I got to enjoy it for a brief moment before it got swept out onto the plains of eastern Colorado.

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