Dwarf Chicory

Cichorium pumilum

هندباء بري/علك

Status: Common

Cichorium pumilum is a Mediterranean species belongs to the compositae family in the Asterales order. It is probably native to India, although there are other opinions, including that it hails from Egypt or China. It is Hairless, or somewhat stiffly –hairy, medium, to tall annual or biennial, steams branched, erect Up to 170 cm tall, glabrous or with some scattered hard hairs. Leaves are basal arranged in two rows along a common axis but not separated into distinct leaflets. Leaves arrangement is alternate (one leaf per node) and leave type is dentate or serrate. Upper leaves lance-shaped, toothed or not, very hairy on the veins. Flowers are pale bright blue, seldom pink or white, flowers hermaphrodite only and flowering from Mar-July. Fruits are achene, obovoid to cylindrical, brown, with pappus of 1–3 rows of small, persistent membranous scales.

Habitats: Garigue, grassy habitats, fields, cultivated and fallow ground, roadsides occasionally along the seashore.

The Chorotype: Med - Irano-Turanian.

Uses and medical actions: It is used almost exclusively raw in salads where its leaves are edible by human and it contains Beta-carotene medium; vitamin E: medium; riboflavin: low; folic acid: medium; ascorbic acid: low; calcium: low; iron: low; protein: 1.4%. Leaves contain also chlorogenic acid and chicoric acid.

Distribution: widespread and common across the Mediterranean, widespread and common on Crete.

It is glycophyte in terms of salt resistance, Spinescence is absent and it is non-succulent plant. 

It is common in Palestine in Mediterranean coast, Nablus mountains and desert, Jerusalem mountains, Jerusalem desert and Dead Sea valley.

Conservation Status: Least Concern