Cichorium is a small genus of ca. 6 species, native to Europe, the Mediterranean area and Ethiopia. Cichorium endivia (endive) and C. intybus (chicory, witloof) are important vegetables. Both species have many cultivars that sometimes occur in the wild. Cichorium intybus (subsp. intybus) is locally native in Belgium (or perhaps rather archaeophytic) but much more common as an escape from cultivation outside its native distribution range.
Additional useful information of the Cichorieae is available at the Cichorieae Portal at: http://wp6-cichorieae.e-taxonomy.eu/portal/.
1 Pappus scales absent or less than 0,1 mm long and then patent. Long peduncled capitula with at least one phyllary bract 8-15 mm wide. Always annual === Cichorium calvum
Pappus always present, at least 0,2 mm long and erect to erecto-patent. All phyllary bracts at most 5 mm wide. Perennial or annual === 2
2 Longest pappus scales (i.e. those of the inner florets) at least 0,7 mm long, 1/6 to ½ as long as the achene. Peduncles strongly inflated and clavate at apex. Annual === 3
Longest pappus scales ca. 0,5 mm long (most much shorter), ca. 1/10 to 1/8 as long as achene. Peduncles not or only slightly inflated and clavate at apex. Perennial (native) === C. intybus
3 Florets 15-20. Capitula usually in groups of 4-6 or more. Longest peduncles up to 20 cm long. Leaves (especially the basal) nearly glabrous. Branches not distinctly divaricate. Stem usually 60-120 cm === C. endivia
Florets 9-14. Capitula usually in groups of 2 to 4. Longest peduncles up to 8 (-10) cm long. Leaves hairy. Branches distinctly divaricate. Stem usually 5-50 cm === C. pumilum
Kiers A.M. (2000) Endive, chicory and their wild relatives. A systematic and phylogenetic study of Cichorium (Asteraceae). Gorteria Supplement 5: 77 p.
Wagenitz G. & Bedarff U. (1989) Taxonomic notes on some species of the genus Cichorium (Compositae - Lactuceae). In: Tan K. (ed.), The Davis and Hedge Festschrift: plant taxonomy, phytogeography and related subjects. Edinburgh, University Press: 11-21.