When it comes to vibrant and visually striking flowers, two names that often come to mind are chicory and cornflower.
These blooms grace gardens and landscapes with their stunning colors, but what sets them apart? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between chicory and cornflower from the origin, life span, appearance, type, growing conditions, to the medicinal properties, and health benefits, of chicory and cornflower.
So let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
Chicory: Originating in Europe and Western Asia, chicory (Cichorium intybus) has been cultivated for centuries. The plant has since spread across the globe due to its versatile nature.
It is believed that chicory was first used by ancient Egyptians for medicinal purposes, and it later became a popular ingredient in culinary dishes throughout Europe.
Cornflower: Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), on the other hand, is native to Europe but can be found in various regions worldwide. It’s often associated with fields of blue blooms in summer.
The vibrant blue flowers of cornflower have made it a favorite among gardeners and wildflower enthusiasts alike. It is also known for its historical significance, as it was once used as a natural dye for clothing and textiles. The petals of the cornflower were crushed to extract a vivid blue color, which was then applied to fabrics.
Chicory: is a perennial plant that can live for several years under the right conditions. Its deep taproot allows it to survive harsh climates and thrive in different environments.
Cornflower: In contrast, cornflower is an annual or biennial plant that completes its life cycle within one or two years. Despite its shorter lifespan, it compensates with abundant blooms during its flowering season.
Chicory: boasts deep blue flowers with tapered petals that resemble daisies. Its leaves are elongated and have a slightly bitter taste when consumed raw. The plant can reach heights of up to two feet when fully grown.
Cornflower: These beautiful flowers have intricate petals that come in various shades of blue and purple. They have delicate blooms that are surrounded by slim green stems with small, lance-shaped leaves. When fully grown, they reach a height of two to three feet and make a lovely addition to any garden setting.
Chicory: belongs to the Asteraceae family, which also includes daisies, sunflowers, and dandelions. It is commonly grown for its leaves, roots, and flowers, each having its own culinary or medicinal use.
Cornflower: is a member of the Asteraceae family as well. Although primarily recognized for its ornamental value today, it has historically been used in herbal medicine and cosmetics.
Chicory: When cultivating chicory, you’ll want to provide well-drained soil and ample sunlight. This hardy plant adapts well to most climates but thrives best in cooler temperatures. Regular watering and occasional fertilization can ensure healthy growth.
Cornflower: requires similar growing conditions to chicory. They prefer full sun exposure and well-draining soil. Sowing seeds directly into the ground in early spring will yield a beautiful display of blooms through summer.
Chicory: has been valued throughout history for its medicinal properties. Its roots have been used as a natural remedy for digestive issues while the leaves are believed to have diuretic properties. Additionally, chicory has antioxidant effects that can promote overall health.
Cornflower: although cornflower is predominantly appreciated for its aesthetic appeal, it too possesses certain medicinal properties. Traditionally used as an eyewash due to its gentle nature, cornflower is said to soothe tired and irritated eyes when steeped in water.
Chicory: Consuming chicory leaves may help improve gut health by acting as a prebiotic. The plant’s root can be roasted and ground into a coffee substitute that boasts low caffeine content while providing similar flavors and potential health benefits like increasing bile production.
Cornflower: While cornflower’s health benefits aren’t as extensively documented, it’s worth noting that its herbal infusions have been associated with providing relief from minor skin irritations and promoting relaxation.
Both chicory and cornflower are captivating plants with their own distinct characteristics. Chicory offers a range of uses in cooking and medicine, whereas cornflower dazzles us with its mesmerizing blooms. Whether you choose chicory for its versatility or cornflower for its beauty, these plants can elevate any garden or landscape.
In the battle of chicory vs. cornflower, there is no clear winner. Each plant brings its own unique qualities that appeal to different tastes and needs. Whichever you decide to include in your garden, both will add a touch of elegance and charm to your outdoor space.
Remember to care for them properly by providing the ideal growing conditions, and you’ll be rewarded with years of enjoyment from these stunning blooms. So indulge your green thumb and embrace the splendor of nature with either chicory or cornflower – or why not both? The choice is yours!