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Beet (Beta).—Grant Heilman Photography
Cultivated form of the plant Beta vulgaris of the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae), one of the most important vegetables. Four distinct types are cultivated: the garden beet, as a garden vegetable; the sugar beet, a major source of sugar and commercially the most important type; the mangel-wurzel, a succulent feed for livestock; and the leaf beet, or Swiss chard, for its edible leaves. Beet greens are a source of riboflavin, iron, and vitamins A and C. Beets are grown most extensively in temperate to cool regions or during the cooler seasons.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on beet, visit Britannica.com.