Bèta

(Latin name). Chenopodidccm. Perhaps adozen or 15 species of herbs, ranging from the Canary Islands to eastern India. One polymorphous species yields the cultivated Beets. This is B. vulgaria, Moq., the origi nal form of which is perennial, and grows on the coasts of southern Europe, reaching as far N. as the Straits of Dover. Moquin (DC. Prodr. 13, pt. 2:56) divides the derivatives of this species into three groups: (1) The slender- and hard-rooted, essentially wild fonns, includ ing B. maritima of Linnzeus ; (2) Leaf Beet (B. Olcla), comprising the various kinds of Chard or Spinach Beet (see Chard); (3) the common garden Beets, or Beet root. The ornamental Beets, grown for their handsome colored lvs.. are akin to the Chards. All these races have been developed in comparatively modern times, probably from one original form. Cf. Sturtevant, Amer. Nat. 1887:4133. See Beet. L_ H_ }3_