Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ChenopodiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub; hairs simple, stellate, or glandular; plants in several genera scaly, mealy, or powdery from collapsed glands; monoecious, dioecious, with bisexual flowers, or with both bisexual and unisexual flowers. Stem: occasionally fleshy. Leaf: blade simple, generally alternate, occasionally fleshy or reduced to scales, veins pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, catkin-like, spheric head, axillary clusters of flowers, or flowers 1; bracts 0--5, herbaceous, generally persistent or strongly modified in fruit, wings, tubercles or spines present or 0. Flower: bisexual or unisexual, small, generally green; calyx parts (1)3--5, or 0 in pistillate flowers, free or fused basally (or +- throughout), leaf-like in texture, membranous, or fleshy, deciduous or not, often strongly modified in fruit; corolla 0; stamens 1--5, opposite sepals, filaments free, equal; anthers 4-chambered; ovary superior (1/2-inferior), chamber 1; ovule 1; styles, stigmas 1--4 (or stigmas sessile). Fruit: achene or utricle, generally falling with persistent calyx or bracts. Seed: 1, small, lenticular to spheric; seed coat smooth to finely dotted, warty, net-like, or prickly, margin occasionally winged.
Genera In Family: 100 genera, 1500 species: worldwide, especially deserts, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, beet, Swiss chard; Spinacia oleracea L., spinach; Chenopodium quinoa Willd., quinoa); and some worldwide, naturalized ruderal or noxious agricultural weeds. Note: Nitrophila treated in Amaranthaceae, Sarcobatus treated in Sarcobataceae. Key to genera revised by Elizabeth H. Zacharias to incorporate Extriplex and Stutzia, 2 genera segregated from Atriplex. Native spp. of Kochia now treated in Neokochia. Chenopodiaceae often treated now within a more broadly circumscribed Amaranthaceae (Morales-Briones et al. 2021).
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, family description, key to genera, revised by Thomas J. Rosatti & Elizabeth H. Zacharias, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil, Thomas J. Rosatti, Margriet Wetherwax.
Genus: BetaView Description 

Common Name: BEET
Habit: Annual to perennial herb, generally glabrous; roots fleshy, thickened. Stem: decumbent to erect, simple to branched. Leaf: alternate, +- entire, petioled. Inflorescence: spike, axillary, or terminal, panicle-like clusters, generally not bracted in distal 1/2. Flower: bisexual; sepals 3--5, < 3 mm, persistent, thickened in age; stamens 5; ovary 1/2-inferior, sunken into receptacle, stigmas 2(3). Fruit: achene, enclosed by swollen perianth and receptacle, +- circumscissile, hard, clustered. Seed: horizontal, +- spheric, dark brown. Chromosomes: x=9.
Etymology: (Greek: probably from Celtic name for red root)
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Leila M. Shultz
Reference: Shultz 2003 FNANM 4:266
Beta vulgaris L. subsp. maritima (L.) Arcang.
Habit: Roots fibrous, occasionally swollen, not fleshy. Stem: simple, < 8 dm. Leaf: petiole +- = blade; blade < 10 cm, oblanceolate. Inflorescence: 1--3-flowered, bracts (0)2--8 mm. Flower: sepals 2--2.5 mm, incurved, abaxially keeled in age, margin scarious; stigmas 2. Fruit: 3--5 mm diam, 5--11 per cluster.
Ecology: Moist sandy places, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 300 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SnFrB, SCo, ChI, WTR, PR; Distribution Outside California: New Jersey; southern Europe. Flowering Time: Feb--Sep Note: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris [Beta macrocarpa Guss.], cultivated beet, Swiss chard, occasional waif in drainage ditches, irrigation channels close to cultivated fields, DSon; generally in eastern United States.
Jepson eFlora Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Leila M. Shultz
Reference: Shultz 2003 FNANM 4:266
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima

botanical illustration including Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima

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Citation for this treatment: Margriet Wetherwax & Leila M. Shultz 2012, Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 24, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 24, 2024.

Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
click for enlargement
©2013 Neal Kramer
Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
click for enlargement
©2013 Neal Kramer
Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
click for enlargement
©2013 Neal Kramer
Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
click for enlargement
©2013 Neal Kramer
Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
click for enlargement
©2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima:
CCo, SnFrB, SCo, ChI, WTR, PR
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).