This must have a short blooming season, because I noticed a large area blooming in front of a long-empty house, and a couple of days later when I came back with a camera, there were very few blooms left. Many parts are edible, but the interesting thing is that you can roast and grind the roots, and brew them as a coffee substitute or additive. Has a smooth taste, no caffeine, and is still included in New Orleans-style blends. Also known to be toxic to internal parasites — now THAT’s coffee. Also, the chicory plant is one of the earliest plants mentioned in literature, and was cultivated in ancient Egypt. Native to Europe.