The beet (Beta vulgaris) is a plant cultivated for its root and leaves, which are very nutritious. While most crops have red or purplish-red roots, some have yellow, orange, or white roots. Beets of red and purple-red variety are also used to create red dye for foods, extracted from betanin, a substance in beets that gives it a red color.
Beets originated from the wild species known a the sea beet, found in coastal regions of Europe, North Africa, South Asian and the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores. Other plants with the same wild ancestor include the sugar beet, forage beet and chard.