Endive is part of the Asteraceae or dandelion family along with Escarole, chicory, and radicchio. Originating in the Mediterranean region, this leafy green is a type of endive (Cichorium endive or broad-leaf endive) with dark green, flat, less crinkly leaves around a loose yet balanced head.

SEASONAL AVAILABILITY

Escarole Seasonal Availability Chart

TYPES, VARIETIES & CUTS

Though the terms escarole, endive, and chicory are often used interchangeably, there are differences in both appearance and flavor (escarole tends to be less bitter). Varieties of escarole include Broadleaf Batavian, Full Heart, Salanca, and Twinkle.

Curly endive, also called frisée, generally has smaller, slender ‘frizzy’-looking yellow-green leaves. Neither should be confused with Belgian or French endive, with pale, smooth, oval-shaped leaves.

References: Rutgers University New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USDA.

 

PESTS & DISEASE

Common Diseases:
Mosaic viruses infect plants, which then become reservoirs of the disease, stunting growth. Cucumber, lettuce, and turnip mosaic virus are similar in nature, though the latter is more prevalent in escarole. Ironically, turnip mosaic virus was inadvertently transferred to some escarole varieties while breeders were building resistance to downy mildew. Symptoms include slowed development, lack of coloring (chlorosis), tears and crimping in leaves, and eventually plant death.

Beet western yellows virus has an impact in California, Arizona, and Florida. It causes a pronounced chlorosis of the outer leaves of lettuce and escarole.

Other diseases of note include bacterial blight, bottom rot, damping off, downy or powdery mildew, Fusarium, grey or white mold, tip burn, wilt, and yellowing.

Common Pests:
Escarole and its lettuce siblings are vulnerable to a number of pests including aphids, armyworms, beetles, cabbage loopers, cutworms, fire ants, leafhoppers, leafminers, lygus (tarnished plant) bugs, slugs, stink bugs, thrips, and whiteflies.

References: Rutgers University New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USDA.

Page 1 of 212