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Sea Beet: the wild spinach

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Sea Beet: the wild spinach

Looking down along the shore line, especially on mudflats or at the base of cliffs, you will undoubtedly soon come across this very common plant of the sea shore, the sea beet (Beta vulgaris). It is widespread along the coasts of Dorset and especially in our large harbours. It also had the ability to grow on sea walls and in some unusual places.

Not an attractive plant, perhaps, but the long yellowish flower spikes look quite impressive when they are all out together. Flowering from July to September it is one you can hardly miss on your day out at the seaside.

Sea beet is an ancestor of several of our present day food crops; beetroot, chard and sugar beet for example. Sea beet has edible leaves, they can be eaten raw or lightly boiled, and are described in Wikipedia as having a "pleasant taste" and so this plant is also known as wild spinach.


 

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This is just my nature note: for lots more information including distribution maps, status charts, identification guidance and more photographs go to the species home page by clicking/tapping the icon