(Beta vulgaris var. cicla)
Swiss Chard began its life as a beet. Although beets have been cultivated since the times of early Greece & Rome, it is not until their arrival in Northern Europe c.1580, that selection for greens instead of roots was undertaken. The early Europeans felt it important to ensure a more consistent supply of green leafy vegetables throughout the dreary winter months. It is through these centuries of human selection that beets have evolved into the Swiss Chards of today.