WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Aug 3rd, 2009

White Chicory

Aug 3

…and other weird, strange and unusual stuff.

Cichorium intybus

White Chicory flower

Chicory is a wildflower most people would recognize being one of the most common roadside wildflowers around. White Chicory is common enough to get a place my Peterson’s wildflower field guide (forma album) but the white blooms are rarely seem. Or at least by me and I’m the one always on the lookout. Even the National Audubon guide didn’t mention anything about the possibility of white blooms, in fact the guide emphasized blue

I saw these when I went to town today. They were growing in an unmowed ‘green strip’ bordering a parking lot. Hopefully they don’t catch urban blight. Not that I think they’re endangered. Potsdam, NY is a nice little village that can only be described as urban if you just got off the farm. Around here an intersection with houses on each of the 4 corners is a congested area. We’re so undeveloped many of the intersections only have 2 corners.

Chicory flower

I get a fair amount of comments about my ability to find weird and strange stuff. Let me just say there’s no real talent involved and here’s a few reasons to back up my claim.

You must have heard the saying opposites attract. I’m living proof that’s untrue or at least an exception to the rule. If you knew me you’d know which it is.

The real reason I find anything at all is because I’m always looking. Always, and nearly never without my camera.

One advantage I have is living in a rural agricultural area that borders wilderness. That really increases the odds Mother Nature is fooling around in my ‘backyard’. Sometimes I have to go out of the way but in a universe of infinite possibilities there’s a good chance something is already right in front of my face. Many of my best ‘finds’ have been within a couple hundred feet of my backdoor.

Ice Wave

Ice Wave
click image for wallpaper size (1024 x 768)

Sometimes ‘weird’ is just a perspective. An odd angle, different lighting, macro closeups and even Lady Luck can make something ordinary look like it came from the Twilight Zone.

Holy Flowering Fangs Batman!

Milkweed flower

There are times when forgetfulness and/or carelessness make you look like you know what you’re doing. I had to use my photo editor to lighten this up and I like it as a desktop background.


Chipmunk Spirit
In macro mode with flash – I was taking mushroom photos when this little guy popped up.

The thing is – Mother Nature is going to moon ya sooner or later and you’re going to want a camera when she does.

Toothpaste Slime Mold

Slime mold

There are times I edit photos but they generally aren’t weird. They only prove I am.
Or a Looneytic.

Looney Tunes Wallpaper

Tweety and a duck Daffy Duck


There are those who say I’m an Idiot. Now do you believe for a minute an idiot could do this?

Large sandstone block loaded on a Ford Ranger

YEP. In cases like this it’s the doing and not the ability that makes one an idiot.

10 Responses

  1. Garden Lily Says:

    I like your “side of the road” photo of the white Chicory. That’s a neat find. And the flower fangs (I assume on Asclepias incarnata, from your earlier posts) – so cool. Keep snapping!

    Ha ha, you see Looney Tunes everywhere, I see fairies, like these ones and these ones. A bit of Looneycy is healthy.

  2. Garden Lily Says:

    Hmmm, I thought that milkweed looked a bit familiar. It reminded me of a delightful photo I discovered a while ago of Asclepias curassavica (Scarlet milkweed). Cute flower fairies.

  3. Meredith Says:

    Idiot or not, you make me laugh. 🙂

  4. Sande Says:

    I’ve never seen white chicory – now I’ll have to watch for some.
    Love the looneytunes pics.

  5. MNGarden Says:

    I see the blue chicory beside the road all the time, but never up close. Thanks….for the laughs too.

  6. Ratty Says:

    I’ve been enjoying seeing the chicory blooms around here too. I’ve only seen the blue flowers though, never a white one. And I have liked your brand of weird ever since I found your blog.

  7. Nancy Bond Says:

    The white chicory is beautiful — chicory is my favourite wildflower and I’ve also seen it in soft pink. 🙂

  8. kent miles Says:

    Found a white chickory today ,in the middle of a patch of blue. Pics on my Facebook page.

  9. reed russell ms Says:

    i too have found my first white chicory
    so lovely so elusive so growing in the wilds of toronto city proper
    i survive living in an urban environment by finding places i can play the 360
    game ie finding places that i can turn 360 degrees without seeing anything that suggests humanity and civilisation
    sometimes it requires a well placed thumb but i have triumphed in several locales
    the white chicory grows in lands that were once used as a quarry and have been fighting off development for years

    happy to share the photo if there is an email address i can send it too

  10. Ellen Kenney Says:

    I just found white chicory on an abandoned side walk and adjoining vacant lot. I took some plants home and so far they seem to be adapting to life in my small urban yard. Interspersed among the blue was a good go white, a first time sighting for me. I love your photos, too.