Swiss Chard

Beta vulgaris, Cicla Group

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Also chard, spinach beet, leaf beet

Including rainbow (multicolor) chard

As of this sentence, I will no longer add “Swiss” to chard. After 25 years of futile probing I can -find no significant reason to keep it. Even an international authority on Beta, Dr. Brian Ford-Lloyd of the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham, could offer no more explanation than that “there is a Swiss national collection of leaf beet [and chard] genetic resources, which I assume means that the crop is of some importance to the Swiss.” He also located a mention in Transactions of the Horticultural Society for 1822 that a variety planted that year had been grown “from seeds presented by Sir SamuelYoung. . . . He found it used as a vegetable on the Banks of the Rhine, and in Switzerland, and has . . . cultivated it very much this season; he speaks highly of its merit.” Interesting, but hardly enough to justify “Swiss” chard.