Common beet characteristics

What is common beet?

Characteristics of common beet

Photograph of the root and the leaves of the red beet

Common beet (Beta vulgaris) it is a plant of of the goosefoot family ( Chenopodiaceae). It comes from the south of Europe and, according to the most widespread opinion, from Italy.

It derives from the wild species Beta maritima Linn that grows freely in many marine areas of the south of Europe and north of Africa. This species is not eatable and it has been only used as a medicinal plant.

Common beet was used in old times, when people did not only consume its root but the leaves too. These have a flavor similar to the spinach. People in France still eat them nowadays. It was in the XIX century when its use as food was abandoned and it was fundamentally exploited for the production of sugar or the extraction of alcohol.

Varieties of common beet

Several beet varieties exist, among those the most outstanding ones are the red and the white beet. Both are very rich in sugar which is much more assimilable that that of the sugar cane.

They are also very rich in starch. Both possess eatable roots and their leaves can be used as a a vegetable.

Being much more flavorful, the red beet is the one that is generally dedicated to human feeding as, while the white one is dedicated fundamentally to the production of sugar or the animal feeding.

punto rojo More information on beet root

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

30 April, 2022

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