Sea beet

Sea Beet

©Bas Kers

Sea beet

Scientific name: Beta vulgaris
Sometimes called 'Wild spinach', Sea beet can be cooked and eaten. It grows wild on shingle beaches, cliffs and bare ground near to the sea, as well as in saltmarshes.

Species information


Height: up to 1m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Sea beet is a sprawling plant that grows in coastal places near the tideline. Look for it on shingle beaches, bare ground, cliffs and sea-walls, and in saltmarshes. It flowers from July to September. It is a close relative of some of our cultivated beets, such as Sugar-beet, Swiss chard and Beetroot, and can also be cooked and eaten.

How to identify

Sea beet is a sprawling perennial, with reddish stems and long, triangular or oval, glossy green leaves that have a wrinkled egde. It produces spikes of green flowers that are clustered together.


Found throughout the UK, but absent from the very north of Scotland.

Did you know?

Sea beet is also known as 'Wild Spinach' because of its similarity to this popular vegetable.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many coastal nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.