The site that convinced me was Floridata which stated that radicchio and chicory are hardy perrenials from zones 4-9 (American zones). I fit into that catagory and with a little help from mulch and perhaps some sort of cold frame rigged up, I think that they should survive the winter. We'll have to give it a try.
By the way, there are a dizzying number of chicory varities which I am trying to sort out, this is what I know:
- red / cream heading: radicchio
- green heading: sugarloaf
- long leaf : italian dandelion, sword chicory, Puntarelle, Catalogna
- thick stemmed: asparagus chicory
- round leaf, cutting chicory: small leafed varities for salad greens
- forcing: belgian endive, french endive, witloof
- loose heads: curly endive, escarole, batavian endive, commonly blanched, frisee
- root: common chicory whose root is used as a coffe substitute or additive
Did that straighten it out for you? No, I'm not surprised. Stay tuned for more as I untangle the story on chicory.
By the way, why you ask am I so interested in this salad ammendment? It is a cold tolerant plant which can overwinter if wrapped up in a cold frame or polytunnel, or both, depending on what climate you live in. Hey, it might just live outside if you are lucky enough to have mild winters. Cold tolerance is pretty exciting but add perrenial and I want to know more.