Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chicory and Melilot

This scene, along an arable field margin beside the Peddars Way coastal footpath, between Wells-next-the-Sea and the village of Stiffkey, stopped us in our tracks when we were walking in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago. A broad strip of land  along one margin of the field  had been sown with chicory Chicorium intibus and tall melilot Melilotus altissima.

Thousands of blue flowers...

...... at the peak of perfection ....

... with a few white specimens, interlaced with ...
... the yellow racemes of melilot

I've no idea who sowed this wonderful display  (although there may be a clue here) - but whoever did it created a fabulous spectacle and deserves a round of applause.


  1. What a coincidence!Just now, as I was brewing my early morning cup of coffee, I wondered about the chicory flowers which I have never seen.The coffee is grown in my state, but the chicory which enhances its flavour, comes from the Punjab, 2000km away! Thanks for the lovely post!

  2. Absolutely beautiful..... and you deserve a round of applause for the gorgeous photos!

    I've been so amazed by your photography Phil, especially when you get down to ground level to take close-ups. I've been trying that myself but no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get to the same level as the plant! Do you do yoga?! :O)

  3. The Chicory gives a stunning display Phil. I saw some a few days ago, at the edge of a field. Superb. Such a beautiful shade of blue.
    Your pictures really do it justice.

  4. Thanks lotusleaf, it's a long time since I last drank coffee with chicory in it - must give it a try again..

  5. It's a beautiful blue Emma - I've seen chicory growing along the Northumberland coast, near Howick, but never this much...

  6. Hi Lesley, the low-level ones are all taken with alittle pocket camera called a Pentax W20. I just hold it on the ground under the plant, point it in the right general direction, press the button and hope for the best .... and keep taking them until I get one that's about right. Dead useful, those little pocket cameras... No real skill involved.

  7. Thanks Keith, I've grown it as a vegetable a few times and let it flower - some of the cultivated varieties have flowers that are a more intense blue

  8. Hi Phil, I have one Chicory plant in my garden which I bought this year and it is now in flower, lovely colour. I have read somewhere that the Goldfinches like the seed on these.

  9. Hi Linda, that's useful to know. We've had a lot of goldfinches coming to our bird tables in winter - it would be good to grow a supply of food for them too.


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