SEA BEET

WILD BEET

Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima

Amaranth Family [Amaranthaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8ribbed

28th June 2005, Deganwy beach, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Most often grows on shingle beaches or sand above the high water mark by the sea. A perennial which grows up to 1.2m long in the drier areas near the sea, usually much branched and sprawling. It cannot tolerate shade but does tolerate salt.


21st Aug 2004, Hesk Bank Shores, Lancashire Coast. Photo: © RWD
Dark-green shiny and leathery leaves.


28th June 2005, Deganwy beach, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves often wavy and on a winged stem.


28th June 2005, Deganwy beach, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers are petalless in a long thin spike interspersed by shorter and shorter leaves as they near the tip of the spike.


16th June 2009, shoreline, Rhos Point, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
When young the (as yet un-opened) flowers are clustered close together with sporadic leaves, which are narrower, almost linear, the closer the end of the stem they appear.


1st Aug 2013, Crosby, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Flowers often reddish.


1st Aug 2013, Crosby, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Stems ribbed or ridged. Un-opened flowers 'fused' back-to-back by some red material.


1st Aug 2013, Crosby, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Stems anything but straight.


1st Aug 2013, Crosby, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Back-to-back fused pairs of as yet un-opened flowers.


1st Aug 2013, salt marshes, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers have five green tepals and five stamens with cream-coloured anthers and pollen.


1st Aug 2013, salt marshes, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The stigma is tri-lobed with paddle-shaped terminations. This plant seems to be infected by a fungus causing the small oval brown pimples.


Slight resemblance to : Docks and Oraches.

Likes to grow on shingle beaches by the sea above the high water mark, or on bare ground by the sea. Can get as high as sea-top cliffs. Adopts a sprawling manner. Height variable.

The leaves, which have a slightly wrinkled appearance with an irregular edge, are a shiny glossy deep green. The flowers are tiny and green, in a spike near the top resembling docks.

Sea Beet is the native variety of Beta vulgaris from which other varieties of Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris were bred especially for cultivating and foodstuffs for both man and beast. Only the tuberous roots are consumed.

Cultivated relatives: Sugar Beet, Beetroot and Mangel-wurzel, Fodder Beet, Swiss Chard and a few others.


  Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Amaranthaceae  

Distribution
family8amaranth family8amaranthaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8beta vulgaris
Beta Vulgaris
(Beets)

SEA BEET

WILD BEET

Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima

Amaranth Family [Amaranthaceae]  

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