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Cichorium (family Compositae) A genus of perennial herbs that have alternate leaves and flower heads of blue, strap-shaped florets. The achenes are angled, with blunt scales on top. The roots of C. intybus (chicory) are used for blending with coffee; C. endivia (endive) is used as a vegetable. There are 8 species occurring in the Mediterranean region, of which one reaches northern Europe, and one Ethiopia.