The roadsides of Nova Scotia are presently decorated with the most beautiful of wildflowers. Among them is my favourite, chicory [Cichorium intybus], pictured above. I’m not sure if it’s that periwinkle blue colour, so uncommon among flowers, or the delicate saw-toothed petals that appeal to me, but I’ve loved this flower since childhood and would give anything to have a meadow full of it.
Petals barely brushed with blue,
(One of Nature’s secret hues);
Jagged ends look scissor-cut,
By summer noon, each bloom is shut.
I think that roses are sublime,
And fragrant lilies’ blooms are fine;
All beautiful! But as for me…
I much prefer this chicory.
© 2008 Nancy Bond
“The cultivated chicory plant has a history reaching back to ancient Egyptian time. Medieval monks raised the plants and when coffee was introduced to Europe, the Dutch thought that chicory made a lively addition to the bean drink. In the United States chicory root has long been used as a substitute for coffee in prisons.” – Wiki
Queen Anne’s Lace (also known as wild carrot) [Daucus carota] is at its peak right now — these delicate little blooms remind me of wedding bouquets. It appears the ants like it as well. Queen Anne’s Lace is edible and medicinal — the root is edible cooked or raw, flower clusters can be french-fried for a carrot-flavored, attractive dish, though I’ve never tried it.
Birdsfoot trefoil (also known as birdfoot deer vetch) [Lotus corniculatus] is another of my newly claimed favourites. I love the tiny wheels of yellow and note that it appears to be a bumper year for it. Considered a nuisance by many, this little plant is often planted along roadsides to help prevent wind and water erosion and is a choice food for Canada goose, deer, and elk.