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Beta vulgaris - 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 Sugar Beet


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Beta vulgaris Sugar Beet

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Beta vulgaris 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.

Synonyms

B. vulgaris rapa.

Habitats

Edible Uses

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].

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)
  • 45 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 86.4%
  • Protein: 3.2g; Fat: 0.4g; Carbohydrate: 8.1g; Fibre: 3.8g; Ash: 1.9g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 114mg; Phosphorus: 34mg; Iron: 3.1mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 3152mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.07mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.22mg; Niacin: 0.6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 50mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes: The figures for Vitamin a are said to be milligrammes.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



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].

Other Uses

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

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].

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Beta lomatogonaBeet20
Beta trigynaBeet20
Beta vulgaris altissimaSugar Beet42
Beta vulgaris ciclaSpinach Beet42
Beta vulgaris cracaBeetroot42
Beta vulgaris flavescensSwiss Chard42
Beta vulgaris maritimaSea Beet22
Castanopsis tibetana 20
Clematis tibetana 02
Corylus feroxHimalayan Hazel, Tibetan hazelnut20
Cotoneaster conspicuusTibetan Cotoneaster, Cotoneaster00
Cyphomandra betaceaTree Tomato30
Hippophae tibetanaTibetan Sea Buckthorn43
Rubus thibetanus 20
Sorbus thibeticaTibetan whitebeam30
Taraxacum tibetanum 12

 

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Expert comment

Author

Rossio.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

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