Polk County Conservation


  • What is that pretty light blue flower found along roadsides?

    What you’re seeing is probably chicory, Cichorium intybus. This perennial plant has stiff, wiry stems with few leaves and can grow from two to four feet tall. The flower heads are windmill like, attached directly to the stem, and usually about 1+ inch wide. This spindly pale blue flowering plant blooms from June through September. Chicory was introduced to North America from Europe and is now a common roadside flower found throughout most of the continent. Chicory has many uses but is most well known for its association with coffee. The roots of chicory can be roasted, ground, and used as a coffee additive. This coffee additive is very popular in the south, particularly New Orleans.

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    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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