Cichorium endivia
Family: Asteraceae

This annual or biennial, thought to be a native of the Mediterranean, has produced some very good cultivars which are now widely grown. It is known to have been cultivated over many centuries and is believed to be one of the 'bitter herbs' of the Passover. Endive can be grown in slightly warmer areas than lettuce as it is toler­ant of higher temperatures. Grown for its leaves, endive is slightly bitter and is delicious in salads with bacon and creamy or mustard dressing. It is grown as an autumn and early winter crop in cool and cold climates.


This crop performs at its best in a temperature range of 10°-20°C (50°-68°F) It will not be harmed by a light frost and the extra-hardy, broad-leaved cultivars will tolerate a temperature as low as -10°C (14°F). The curly-leaved cultivars are not so prone to running to seed in hot weather as the broad-leaved kinds. A fertile, moisture-retentive yet well-drained soil is best for endive, plus an open position in full sun. Sow seed in succession from late in spring to midsummer, outdoors in the site where they are to grow. Thin out seedlings to about 30 cm (12 in) apart each way. Harvesting can start within two to three months. Endive can be treated as a cut and come again crop. Broad-leaved cultivars especially are often blanched to remove the bitterness, but curly leaved kinds can be blanched, too. Simply cover a plant with an inverted container, such as a bucket, for at least two weeks.


Zone 8.

Emmenosperma      Ensete