Beets

July 31, 2009, Posted by Carmen Lopez Marshall at 7:42 am | No Comments

The beet (Beta vulgaris) is a plant in the beet root family. It is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties, the most well known of which is probably the red root vegetable known as the garden beet. However, other cultivated varieties include the leaf vegetables chard and spinach beet, as well as the root vegetables sugar beet, which is important in the production of table sugar, and mangelwurzel, which is a fodder crop. Three subspecies are typically recognised. All cultivated varieties fall into the subspecies Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, while Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima, commonly known as the sea beet, is the wild ancestor of these and is found throughout the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast of Europe, the Near East, and India. A second wild subspecies, Beta vulgaris subsp. adanensis, occurs from Greece to Syria.

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