Monday, February 15, 2010

Vegetable Profile: Swiss Chard

'Beta vulgaris' is the scientific name for Swiss Chard. It is in the botanical family Chenopodiaceae. Other members of this family include spinach, lamb’s quarters (a common, edible weed) and quinoa. Swiss chard is actually the same species as beets. Chard and beets are subspecies of Beta vulgaris; one has been bred for its leaf production and one has been bred for its root production. All members of the Chenopodiaceae family are wind pollinated. Its pollen can travel up to 5 miles because it is so light. Chard is biennial, meaning it takes two seasons to produce seed. The word “Swiss” was used in the 19th century to distinguish it from French spinach. However, the first varieties have been traced back to Sicily.


Ashworth, Suzanne. “Seed to Seed.” 2002 Seed Savers Exchange Inc.


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