enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here After I planted some spring mix lettuce a couple of years ago, nothing survived except for this plant. It doesn't look like any of the leaves that I am used to. Does anyone know what it is? Is it edible? I am located in East Tennessee.

Thank you for any help you can give!enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

I just posted some more photos with measurements. The total length from base of the plant to the end of the leaf is about one foot. These plants have no flower growing from the base, however there is a separate plant nearby in the mix that does have flowers. I included a photo of it in case it is related. The original plant in question has leaves that are mostly smooth (some have tiny white or clear hairs on the backside or stem...some are smooth). They are almost as thick as spinach leaves.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology. Can you edit your question to include where you are? It will help with the identification. $\endgroup$
    – Michael_A
    Jul 20, 2018 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you! I just updated to include area... Chattanooga, Tennessee area / Southeast United States. $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 20, 2018 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ At first glance, I was thinking some species of plantago, but the leaf veins are wrong. Please provide more info: size of leaves, texture (hairy/fuzzy, smooth, waxy, thin/thick, etc), and any info on a flower if you have it $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2018 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ My guess would be Asteraceae, but species I don't know. Someone more familiair with the American flora might know. $\endgroup$
    – RHA
    Jul 22, 2018 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ BTW: lettuce is also Asteraceae. $\endgroup$
    – RHA
    Jul 22, 2018 at 7:15

1 Answer 1


This is a leaf vegetable called Cichorium, Endive in English. There are several closely related species, Cichorium endivia (also called endive), Cichorium pumilum (also called wild endive), and Cichorium intybus (also called common chicory). I think it looks most like common chicory, but if it comes from your seeds, Cichorium endivia is more likely.

Flower from Cichorium intybus image from.wikipedia

Flower and leaves of Ch. pumilium enter image description here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cichorium_pumilum.jpg (source pictures:wikipedia)

  • $\begingroup$ Oh wow! That is very helpful...Thank you for your response, RHA!! $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 24, 2018 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ So looking again at the other leaves in the other photos, are you thinking that those are chicory too? $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 24, 2018 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ @steve I've added a second picture, from Ch. Pumilium, on which you can see leaves resembling yours. $\endgroup$
    – RHA
    Jul 24, 2018 at 5:43

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