Chicory is a native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, actively growing in spring, summer and autumn with winter dormancy. It has a taproot with an exposed crown and rosette of large upright leaves. Chicory prefers deep, fertile, and free draining soils (similar to lucerne), however, it does have tolerance to soil acidity. Minimum average annual rainfall for optimum growth and survival is 650-750mm. Sowing can occur in either autumn or spring with sowing rates varying in pastures mixes from 0.5-2.0kg/ha.
Chicory is known to contain both minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur) and trace elements (copper, zinc) that are beneficial to livestock health. It is also reported to have an anthelmintic effect (expels parasitic worms from the body) on sheep and deer, although this is untested in other livestock.