Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual to tree, sometimes monoecious or dioecious, glandular or with bead-like hairs that collapse with age, becoming scaly or powdery
Stem often fleshy
Leaves generally alternate, entire to lobed; veins generally pinnate
Inflorescence: raceme, spike, catkin-like, or spheric cluster, or flower 1; bracts 0–few
Flower: sepals 1–5, often 0 in pistillate flowers, free or fused, generally persistent in fruit; petals 0; stamens 0–5; ovary generally superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, styles 1–3
Fruit: generally utricle
Seed 1, vertical (fruit compressed side-to-side) or horizontal (fruit compressed top-to-bottom)
Genera in family: 100 genera, 1300 species: worldwide, especially deserts, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food (Beta , beets, chard; Chenopodium , quinoa)
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated in expanded Amaranthaceae



Annual or perennial herb, generally glabrous
Stem decumbent to erect, simple to branched
Leaves basal and cauline, petioled, ovate to diamond-shaped
Inflorescence: spike, axillary or in terminal, panicle-like clusters, generally bracted
Flower bisexual; sepals 5, persistent and thickened in fruit; stamens 5; ovary half-inferior, sunken in receptacle, stigmas 2–3
Fruits achene-like, ± circumscissile, hard, adherent in clusters
Seed subspheric, dark brown
Species in genus: ± 5 species: Medit, w Asia
Etymology: (Greek: probably from Celtic name for red root)


B. vulgaris L.

Plant < 1 m, from thick taproot
Leaf 5–14 cm; petiole ± = blade; blade base tapered to truncate
Inflorescence 11–45 cm; bracts (0)2–8 mm
Flower: sepals 2–2.5 mm, incurved, back keeled in fruit, margin scarious; stigmas 2
Fruits 3–5 mm diam, 5–11 per cluster
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Disturbed places, fields, generally as waif
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: to e US; native to s Europe
Cult for food, source of sugar.

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bioregional map for BETA%20vulgaris being generated

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