Cichorium endivia (endives)
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Cichorium endivia
Preferred Common Name
- CICEN (Cichorium endivia)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Cichorium
- Species: Cichorium endivia
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Up to now it has been common practice in taxonomic literature to distinguish two subspecies of Cichorium endivia: subsp. endivia for the cultivated taxa and subsp. divaricatum for the wild taxa. However, current thinking is that it is better to classify the cultivated taxa directly in cultivar groups and cultivars. Three cultivar groups can be distinguished: cv. group Escarole (synonym: C. endivia L. subsp. endivia var. latifolium Lamk), cv. group Curled Endive (synonym: C. endivia L. subsp. endivia var. crispum Lamk) and cv. group Small Endive (synonym: C. endivia L. subsp. endivia var. endivia).
DescriptionTop of page
Annual, sometimes biennial herb containing bitter milky juice, producing a shortened stem with a rosette of large leaves when young. Rosette leaves alternate, sessile, thinly pubescent or glabrous, yellow or light to dark green, sometimes reddish along midrib; in escarole types, leaf-blade broadened, 10-25 cm x 8-15 cm, slightly crumpled, margin entire or dentate; in curly-leaved types, leaf-blade reduced, very narrow, deeply pinnatifid and strongly curled; both types form a loose head, usually creamy in the centre. In the generative stage, endive produces an erect branched stem, 50-150 cm high, with progressively smaller leaves. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary head, 1-3 together, sessile or peduncled, blue-flowered; involucre with outer row of 5 bracts, and inner row of 8 bracts; flowers all ligulate, numerous; stamens 5 with anthers fused. Fruit an obovate achene, 2-3.5 mm x 1 mm, with pappus of minute persistent membranous scales.
DistributionTop of page
Endive was probably first brought into cultivation in the eastern Mediterranean, where its wild relative (Cichoriumendivia subsp. divaricatum (Schousboe) P.D. Sell) still occurs. Endive (subsp. endivia) was known to the old Egyptians, spread to India at an early date and to Central Europe in the 16th Century. It is now grown throughout the world. In the tropics it is of some importance in the Philippines, Malaysia, Central and West Africa, and the Caribbean.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 25 Feb 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
Habitat ListTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Growth and Development
Flowers usually open in the morning hours only and wither 6 hours later. Most cultivars are self-pollinating, but some cross-pollination caused by insects is normal.
Endive is an easy to cultivate vegetable. It is more tolerant of high temperatures than lettuce and can be grown from cool temperate areas to tropical lowlands, though in the tropics better results are obtained above 500 m. The mean daily optimum temperature for growth is 15-18°C. Endive tolerates only light frost. At high temperatures leaves may become fibrous. Endive requires long days for flowering and rarely flowers in the tropics. Vernalization (at temperatures below 15°C) gives an additional stimulus to flowering and can occur during ripening of the seed, storage of seed and from sowing onwards. Endive prefers a loose, pervious soil, sufficiently fertile, especially in the top 20 cm, with a pH of 6.5-7.8.
UsesTop of page
Endive is most commonly eaten as a fresh green in salads, for which curly-leaved forms are preferred. Plants for salads are often blanched to reduce bitterness. Green plants and broad-leaved forms (escarole) are also used as a cooked vegetable. In Indonesia, endive is eaten fresh or steamed as a side-dish with rice. It is sometimes used in making pickles ('asinan') but otherwise not used in a processed form.
Uses ListTop of page
Human food and beverage
ReferencesTop of page
CABI Data Mining, 2011. Invasive Species Databases.,
Crescenzi A, Rana G L, Fanigliulo A, Lahoz E, Carrieri R, 2015. First report of Physarum cinereum on lettuce, rocket, endive, and celery in Italy. Plant Disease. 99 (9), 1272. DOI:10.1094/PDIS-11-14-1121-PDN
Garibaldi A, Gilardi G, Ortu G, Gullino M L, 2013. First report of a new leaf spot caused by Plectosphaerella cucumerina on field grown endive (Cichorium endivia) in Italy. Plant Disease. 97 (6), 848. http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/loi/pdis DOI:10.1094/PDIS-12-12-1168-PDN
Pernezny K, Raid R N, 2001. Occurrence of bacterial leaf spot of escarole caused by Pseudomonas cichorii in the everglades agricultural area of Southern Florida. Plant Disease. 85 (11), 1208. DOI:10.1094/PDIS.2001.85.11.1208B
Wintermantel W M, Bachinsky D, 2014. First report of Moroccan pepper virus in association with yellows on Escarole in the United States and the world. Plant Disease. 98 (10), 1448. DOI:10.1094/PDIS-04-14-0394-PDN
ContributorsTop of page
Main source: PROSEA (Plant Resources of SE Asia)
Distribution MapsTop of page
Select a dataset
CABI Summary Records
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