Identify Sea Beet

Sea Beet (Beta vulgaris maritima)

How to Identify Sea Beet


Botanical Name
Beta vulgaris maritima

Could be confused with

Possibly confused with Sea Kale ( ) See Page.

Range and Distribution

Coastal areas of Europe including UK and Asia


Found growing on shingle beaches, coastlines and wastelands by the coast.

Physical Characteristics

Sea beet is a sprawling perennial growing up to 1m, although rarely found standing up.

Its leaves can vary in size greatly from 5-40cm in length and 2-20cm width. They’re triangular to oval, glossy and dark green; the vein ridges are deep and obvious. Growing from one single point in the ground.

Each plant will produce a number of long thin stems up to 1m long, full of minute green flowers and seed pods between July-September.

Edible Use

Stem & Leaves: wilted, steamed, baked, stir-fried, for wrapping food.

Flower & Seeds: in salads, and as leaves except for wrapping food.


Traditionally used to cure intestinal tumours.

Tips and Observations
If you periodically cut back Sea beet, not the whole plant but up to 40% of its shoots it will continue to produce fresh young leaves throughout the year. Leaves growing in shaded places will be a lot larger and are perfect for wrapping fish before putting on the BBQ or beach fire.