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Beta vulgaris altissima - Rossio.

Common Name Sugar Beet
Family Chenopodiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation.
Range A cultivated form of B. vulgaris maritima that is grown for the sugar content of its root.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Beta vulgaris altissima Sugar Beet


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Beta vulgaris altissima Sugar Beet

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Beta vulgaris altissima is a BIENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

B. vulgaris rapa.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root
Edible Uses: Sweetener

Root - raw or cooked. The root contains 16 - 20% sugar and this is often extracted and used as a sweetener[142]. This plant is a major source of sugar in many temperate areas. The root can also be used as a vegetable. When cooked it is quite tender, but with some fibrous strands. It has a very sweet flavour that some people find too sweet[K]. The raw root is rather tough, but makes a pleasant addition to salads when grated finely[K]. Leaves - raw or cooked. A very acceptable spinach substitute[K]. Some people dislike the raw leaves since they can leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth[K].

Medicinal Uses

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Antitumor  Emmenagogue

Although little used in modern herbalism, beet has a long history of folk use, especially in the treatment of tumours[269]. A decoction prepared from the seed has been used as a remedy for tumours of the intestines. The seed, boiled in water, is said to cure genital tumours[269]. The juice or other parts of the plant is said to help in the treatment of tumours, leukaemia and other forms of cancer such as cancer of the breast, oesophagus, glands, head, intestines, leg, lip, lung, prostate, rectum, spleen, stomach, and uterus[269]. Some figure that betacyanin and anthocyanin are important in the exchange of substances of cancer cells; others note two main components of the amines, choline and its oxidation product betaine, whose absence produces tumours in mice[269]. The juice has been applied to ulcers[269]. A decoction is used as a purgative by those who suffer from haemorrhoids in South Africa[269]. Leaves and roots used as an emmenagogue[269]. Plant effective in the treatment of feline ascariasis[269]. In the old days, beet juice was recommended as a remedy for anaemia and yellow jaundice, and, put into the nostrils to purge the head, clear ringing ears, and alleviate toothache[269]. Beet juice in vinegar was said to rid the scalp of dandruff as scurf, and was recommended to prevent falling hair[269]. Juice of the white beet was said to clear obstructions of the liver and spleen[269]. Culpepper (1653) recommended it for treating headache and vertigo as well as all affections of the brain[269].

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Other Uses

Biomass

Sugar beet has excellent potential as a biomass crop, both as a source of sugar and also using the plant residue for fuel[269].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Beets grow well in a variety of soils, growing best in a deep, friable well-drained soil abundant with organic matter, but doing poorly on clay. They prefer an open position and a light well-drained soil[52]. The optimum pH is 6.0 - 6.8, but neutral and alkaline soils are tolerated in some areas. Some salinity may be tolerated after the seedling stage. Beets are notable for their tolerance to manganese toxicity. Beet is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 23 to 315cm, an average annual temperature range of 5.0 to 26.6°C and a pH of 4.2 to 8.2[269]. Sugar beet is widely cultivated as a commercial sugar crop in temperate climates. About one third of all sugar production in the world is derived from this plant[269]. It is not usually grown on a garden scale. There are several named varieties[46].

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Propagation

Seed - sow April in situ.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Beta lomatogonaBeetPerennial0.5 0-0  LMHNM20 
Beta trigynaBeetPerennial0.9 0-0  LMHNM20 
Beta vulgaris ciclaSpinach BeetBiennial0.9 4-8  LMHNM42 
Beta vulgaris cracaBeetrootBiennial0.9 4-8  LMHNM42 
Beta vulgaris flavescensSwiss ChardBiennial0.9 4-8  LMHNM42 
Beta vulgaris maritimaSea BeetAnnual/Perennial1.2 4-8  LMHNM22 
Castanopsis tibetana Tree0.0 -  MHSM20 
Clematis tibetana Climber4.0 5-9  LMHSNM02 
Corylus feroxHimalayan Hazel, Tibetan hazelnutTree10.0 7-10  LMHSNM20 
Cotoneaster conspicuusTibetan Cotoneaster, CotoneasterShrub3.0 6-8 MLMHSNDM00 
Cyphomandra betaceaTree TomatoTree5.0 8-11 FLMHNM30 
Hippophae tibetanaTibetan Sea BuckthornTree15.0 7-10 FLMHNDMWe43 
Rubus thibetanus Shrub2.5 5-9 MLMHSNM20 
Sorbus thibeticaTibetan whitebeamTree20.0 5-9  LMHSNM30 
Taraxacum tibetanum Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM12 

 

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Expert comment

Author

Rossio.

Botanical References

200

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