The leek is a vegetable, a cultivar of Allium ampeloprasum, the broadleaf wild leek. The edible part of the plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths, sometimes erroneously called a stem or stalk; the genus Allium contains the onion, shallot, scallion and Chinese onion. Many scientific names were used for leeks, but they are now all treated as cultivars of A. ampeloprasum. The name'leek' developed from the Old English word leac, from which the modern English name of garlic derives. Three related vegetables, elephant garlic and Persian leek or tareh, are cultivars of A. ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food. Rather than forming a tight bulb like the onion, the leek produces a long cylinder of bundled leaf sheaths that are blanched by pushing soil around them, they are sold as small seedlings in flats that are started off early in greenhouses, to be planted out as weather permits. Once established in the garden, leeks are hardy. Leek cultivars may be treated as a single cultivar group, e.g. as A. ampeloprasum'Leek Group'.
The cultivars can be subdivided in several ways, but the most common types are "summer leeks", intended for harvest in the season when planted, overwintering leeks, meant to be harvested in the spring of the year following planting. Summer leek types are smaller than overwintering types. Cultivars include'King Richard' and'Tadorna Blue'. Leeks are easy to grow from seed and tolerate standing in the field for an extended harvest, which takes place up to 6 months from planting; the soil in which it is grown has to be loose and drained well. Leeks reach maturity in the autumn months. Leeks can be bunched and harvested early when they are about the size of a finger or pencil, or they can be thinned and allowed to grow to a much larger mature size. Hilling leeks can produce better specimens. Leeks suffer from insect pests including the leek moth. Leeks are susceptible to leek rust. Leeks have a onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is firm; the edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves, the light green parts, to a lesser extent the dark green parts of the leaves.
The dark green portion is discarded because it has a tough texture, but it can be sautéed, or more added to stock for flavor. A few leaves are sometimes tied with other herbs to form a bouquet garni. Leeks are chopped into slices 5–10 mm thick; the slices have a tendency to fall apart, due to the layered structure of the leek. The different ways of preparing the vegetable are: Boiling turns it soft and mild in taste. Frying preserves the taste. Raw leeks can be used in salads, doing well when they are the prime ingredient. In Turkish cuisine, leeks are chopped into thick slices boiled and separated into leaves, filled with a filling containing rice, herbs and black pepper. For sarma with olive oil, pine nuts, cinnamon are added, for sarma with meat, minced meat is added to the filling. In Turkey zeytinyağlı pırasa, ekşili pırasa, etli pırasa, pırasa musakka, pırasalı börek, pırasa köftesi leek meatball are cooked. Leeks are an ingredient of cock-a-leekie soup and potato soup, vichyssoise, as well as plain leek soup.
Because of their symbolism in Wales, they have come to be used extensively in that country’s cuisine. Elsewhere in Britain, leeks have come back into favor only in the last 50 years or so, having been overlooked for several centuries; the Hebrew Bible talks of חציר, identified by commentators as leek, says it is abundant in Egypt. Dried specimens from archaeological sites in ancient Egypt, as well as wall carvings and drawings, indicate that the leek was a part of the Egyptian diet from at least the second millennium BCE. Texts show that it was grown in Mesopotamia from the beginning of the second millennium BCE; the leek was the favorite vegetable of the Emperor Nero, who consumed it in soup or in oil, believing it beneficial to the quality of his voice. The leek is one of the national emblems of Wales, it or the Daffodil is worn on St. David's Day. According to one legend, King Cadwaladr of Gwynedd ordered his soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field.
The Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton stated, in contrast, that the tradition was a tribute to Saint David, who ate only leeks when he was fasting. Whatever the case, the leek has been known to be a symbol of Wales for a long time. In the play, Henry tells the Welsh officer Fluellen that he, too, is wearing a leek “for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.” The 1985 and 1990 British one pound coins bear the design of a leek in a coronet, representing Wales. Alongside the other national floral emblems of countries and in the Commonwealth or part of the United Kingdom (including the English Tudor Rose, Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, Canadian maple leaf, Ind
Matthiola incana, known as hoary stock, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Matthiola. The common name stock refers to this species, though it may be applied to the whole genus; the common name "night-scented stock" or "evening-scented stock" is applied to Matthiola longipetala. M. incana is known in the USA by the common name tenweeks stock. It is a common garden flower, available in a variety of colours, many of which are scented and used in floristry; some stocks are grown as annuals that reaches heights of growth of 20 to 28 centimeters thick, woody at the base and with numerous foliar scars and branches with terminal rosettes of leaves. The plant is starry, with whitish hairs; the leaves are ash-coloured. The fragrant flowers are white, cream yellow, red, purple or blue; the scar flaps on the back are swollen. The pods are compressed, their flaps are flattened. Leaves whole or sinuate, attenuated on a short petiole. Pedicels are 10-12 mm in 12-17 mm in fruiting, erect-patents. Sepals are around 11-14 mm, with narrow scarious margin, green or somewhat purple.
Petals are 25-30 mm, with a nail as long as the limb, ranging between white, violet or purple. Seeds are 2-3 mm, with a whitish wing; the flower is supported by a 10-20 mm stalk. It is native to southern Europe and is naturalized in the western part of the Mediterranean region in the areal of the olive tree; the plant prefers calcareous soils, grows on cliffs overlooking the sea, or on old walls. It is a plant of the coast, but it can be found, naturalized in the hinterland up to 600 m of altitude; the flower is used as an ornamental plant for summer discounts and as a cut flower and aromatic plant. It is grown in pots, it is suitable for the cracks in the reefs of the marine locations. The species has been in culture since at least the 16th century; the flowers can be medium or large. These varieties are sown in spring, they give a good summer flower display. Other varieties are treated as biennials; these are referred to as "Brompton stocks". In cool temperate regions they are sown in summer to flower in the following spring.
The extra trouble of overwintering the plants is compensated for by the showy spring floral display. In hard winters there may be some mortality and a well-drained sheltered site suits them best. Intermediate varieties may be treated either as biennials. If treated as annuals they give a fine late autumn display. Maltese Stocks known in Maltese as "ġiżi ta' Malta" is treated as a perennial and has fleshier and fuzzy leaves with flowers in a light violet colour, while an rarer variety of it exhibits white flowers. Double-flowered stocks are sterile, they therefore have to be produced from the seed of single-flowered plants. The double-flowered form is caused by a recessive gene variant in the homozygous condition. Therefore, according to the Mendelian laws of genetics, heterozygous single-flowered stocks should produce one quarter doubles in their offspring and one third of the singles should be pure breeding singles incapable of throwing doubles. Selection over the centuries has improved these ratios, resulting in the so-called "ever-sporting" stocks, in which pure-breeding singles are absent and the proportion of doubles is one half or greater.
The reason was first worked out by the Danish geneticist Øjvind Winge. In these varieties, the singleness allele is linked to a pollen-lethal gene, thus the pollen contribution to seed is always a doubleness allele, while the female contribution is either a doubleness or a singleness allele. The result of this linkage is that doubles and singles are produced in 50:50 ratios and there are no pure-breeding singles. Furthermore, many modern strains produce doubles in higher proportions: 60% or 80%; this is due to generations of selection for further linked viability effects, producing higher mortality of heterozygous singles, relative to homozygous doubles. Jepson Manual Treatment "Matthiola incana". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Photo gallery
Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate and customs; when it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. At the spring equinox and nights are twelve hours long, with day length increasing and night length decreasing as the season progresses. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, monsoonal or cyclonic. Cultures may have local names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe. Meteorologists define four seasons in many climatic areas: spring, summer and winter; these are demarcated by the values of their average temperatures on a monthly basis, with each season lasting three months. The three warmest months are by definition summer, the three coldest months are winter and the intervening gaps are spring and autumn.
Spring, when defined in this manner, can start on different dates in different regions. Thus, in the US and UK, spring months are March and May, while in New Zealand and Australia, spring conventionally begins on September 1 and ends November 30. Swedish meteorologists define the beginning of spring as the first occasion on which the average daytime temperature exceeds zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days, thus the date varies with latitude and elevation. In some cultures in the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical vernal equinox is taken to mark the first day of spring, the summer solstice is taken as the first day of summer. In Persian culture the first day of spring is the first day of the first month which begins on 20 or 21 March. In other traditions, the equinox is taken as mid-spring. In the traditional Chinese calendar, the "spring" season consists of the days between Lichun, taking Chunfen as its midpoint ending at Lixia. According to the Celtic tradition, based on daylight and the strength of the noon sun, spring begins in early February and continues until early May.
The beginning of spring is not always determined by fixed calendar dates. The phenological or ecological definition of spring relates to biological indicators, such as the blossoming of a range of plant species, the activities of animals, the special smell of soil that has reached the temperature for micro flora to flourish; these indicators, along with the beginning of spring, vary according to the local climate and according to the specific weather of a particular year. Most ecologists divide the year into six seasons. In addition to spring, ecological reckoning identifies an earlier separate prevernal season between the hibernal and vernal seasons; this is a time when only the hardiest flowers like the crocus are in bloom, sometimes while there is still some snowcover on the ground. During early spring, the axis of the Earth is increasing its tilt relative to the Sun, the length of daylight increases for the relevant hemisphere; the hemisphere begins to warm causing new plant growth to "spring forth," giving the season its name.
Any snow begins to melt, swelling streams with runoff and any frosts become less severe. In climates that have no snow, rare frosts and ground temperatures increase more rapidly. Many flowering plants bloom at this time of year, in a long succession, sometimes beginning when snow is still on the ground and continuing into early summer. In snowless areas, "spring" may begin as early as February or August, heralded by the blooming of deciduous magnolias and quince. Many temperate areas have a dry spring, wet autumn, which brings about flowering in this season, more consistent with the need for water, as well as warmth. Subarctic areas may not experience "spring" at all until May. While spring is a result of the warmth caused by the changing orientation of the Earth's axis relative to the Sun, the weather in many parts of the world is affected by other, less predictable events; the rainfall in spring follows trends more related to longer cycles—such as the solar cycle—or events created by ocean currents and ocean temperatures—for example, the El Niño effect and the Southern Oscillation Index.
Unstable spring weather may occur more when warm air begins to invade from lower latitudes, while cold air is still pushing from the Polar regions. Flooding is most common in and near mountainous areas during this time of year, because of snow-melt, accelerated by warm rains. In North America, Tornado Alley is most active at this time of year since the Rocky Mountains prevent the surging hot and cold air masses from spreading eastward, instead force them into direct conflict. Besides tornadoes, supercell thunderstorms can produce dangerously large hail and high winds, for which a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued. More so than in winter, the jet streams play an important role in unstable and severe Northern Hemisphere weather in springtime. In recent decades, season creep has been observed, which means that many phenological signs of spring are occurring earlier in many regions by around two days per decade. Spring in the Southern Hemisphere is different in several significant ways to that of the Northern Hemisphere
A perennial plant or perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. Some sources cite perennial plants being plants; the term is used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials. The term is widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs, which are technically perennials. Perennials small flowering plants, that grow and bloom over the spring and summer, die back every autumn and winter, return in the spring from their rootstock, are known as herbaceous perennials. However, depending on the rigors of local climate, a plant, a perennial in its native habitat, or in a milder garden, may be treated by a gardener as an annual and planted out every year, from seed, from cuttings or from divisions. Tomato vines, for example, live several years in their natural tropical/subtropical habitat but are grown as annuals in temperate regions because they don't survive the winter. There is a class of evergreen, or non-herbaceous, including plants like Bergenia which retain a mantle of leaves throughout the year.
An intermediate class of plants is known as subshrubs, which retain a vestigial woody structure in winter, e.g. Penstemon; the local climate may dictate whether plants are treated as perennials. For instance, many varieties of Fuchsia are shrubs in warm regions, but in colder temperate climates may be cut to the ground every year as a result of winter frosts; the symbol for a perennial plant, based on Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, is, the astronomical symbol for the planet Jupiter. Perennial plants can be short-lived or they can be long-lived, as are some woody plants like trees, they include a wide assortment of plant groups from ferns and liverworts to the diverse flowering plants like orchids and grasses. Plants that flower and fruit only once and die are termed monocarpic or semelparous. However, most perennials are polycarpic. Perennials grow structures that allow them to adapt to living from one year to the next through a form of vegetative reproduction rather than seeding; these structures include bulbs, woody crowns, rhizomes plus others.
They might have specialized stems or crowns that allow them to survive periods of dormancy over cold or dry seasons during the year. Annuals produce seeds to continue the species as a new generation while the growing season is suitable, the seeds survive over the cold or dry period to begin growth when the conditions are again suitable. Many perennials have developed specialized features that allow them to survive extreme climatic and environmental conditions; some have adapted to survive cold temperatures. Those plants tend to invest a lot of resource into their adaptations and do not flower and set seed until after a few years of growth. Many perennials produce large seeds, which can have an advantage, with larger seedlings produced after germination that can better compete with other plants; some annuals produce many more seeds per plant in one season, while some perennials are not under the same pressure to produce large numbers of seeds but can produce seeds over many years. Dividing perennial plants is something that gardeners do around the months of October.
The point of doing the division at this time is to allow 6 weeks for adequate root growth prior to the ground reaching a freezing temperature. Due to the leaves falling from trees, as well as the excessive amount of rain received in most places during the fall weeks, the ground has adequate moisture for rapid growth; each type of plant must be separated differently. However, plants such as Irises have a root system known as a Rhizomes, these root systems should be planted with the bulb of the plant just above ground level, with leaves from the following year showing; the point of dividing perennials is to increase the amount of a single breed of plant in your garden. The more you divide your perennial plants every year, the more vast your garden will grow. In warmer and more favorable climates, perennials grow continuously. In seasonal climates, their growth is limited to the growing season. In some species, perennials retain their foliage all year round. Other plants are deciduous perennials, for example, in temperate regions a perennial plant may grow and bloom during the warm part of the year, with the foliage dying back in the winter.
In many parts of the world, seasonality is expressed as wet and dry periods rather than warm and cold periods, deciduous perennials lose their leaves in the dry season. With their roots protected below ground in the soil layer, perennial plants are notably tolerant of wildfire. Herbaceous perennials are able to tolerate the extremes of cold in temperate and Arctic winters, with less sensitivity than trees or shrubs. Perennial plants can be differentiated from annuals and biennials in that perennials have the ability to remain dormant over long periods of time and continue growth and reproduction; the meristem of perennial plants communicates with the hormones produced due to environmental situations and stage of development to begin and halt the ability to grow or flower. There is a distinction between the ability to grow and actual task of growth. For example, most trees regain the ability to grow in the midst of winter but do not initiate physical growth until the spring and summer months.
The start of dormancy can be seen in perennials pla
Cabbage or headed cabbage is a leafy green, red, or white biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. It is descended from the wild cabbage, B. oleracea var. oleracea, belongs to the "cole crops", meaning it is related to broccoli and cauliflower. Brassica rapa is named Chinese, celery or napa cabbage and has many of the same uses. Cabbage is high in nutritional value. Cabbage heads range from 0.5 to 4 kilograms, can be green, purple or white. Smooth-leafed, firm-headed green cabbages are the most common. Smooth-leafed purple cabbages and crinkle-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors are rarer, it is a multi-layered vegetable. Under conditions of long sunny days, such as those found at high northern latitudes in summer, cabbages can grow quite large; as of 2012, the heaviest cabbage was 62.71 kilograms. Cabbage was most domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century AD. By the Middle Ages, cabbage had become a prominent part of European cuisine.
Cabbage heads are picked during the first year of the plant's life cycle, but plants intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year and must be kept separate from other cole crops to prevent cross-pollination. Cabbage is prone to several nutrient deficiencies, as well as to multiple pests, bacterial and fungal diseases. Cabbages are prepared many different ways for eating. Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that world production of cabbage and other brassicas for 2014 was 71.8 million metric tonnes, with China accounting for 47% of the world total. Cabbage is the mustard family, Brassicaceae. Several other cruciferous vegetables are considered cultivars of B. oleracea, including broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts and sprouting broccoli. All of these developed from the wild cabbage B. oleracea var. oleracea called colewort or field cabbage. This original species evolved over thousands of years into those seen today, as selection resulted in cultivars having different characteristics, such as large heads for cabbage, large leaves for kale and thick stems with flower buds for broccoli.
The varietal epithet capitata is derived from the Latin word for "having a head". B. oleracea and its derivatives have hundreds of common names throughout the world."Cabbage" was used to refer to multiple forms of B. oleracea, including those with loose or non-existent heads. A related species, Brassica rapa, is named Chinese, napa or celery cabbage, has many of the same uses, it is a part of common names for several unrelated species. These include cabbage bark or cabbage tree and cabbage palms, which include several genera of palms such as Mauritia, Roystonea oleracea and Euterpe oenocarpus; the original family name of brassicas was Cruciferae, which derived from the flower petal pattern thought by medieval Europeans to resemble a crucifix. The word brassica derives from a Celtic word for cabbage. Many European and Asiatic names for cabbage are derived from the Celto-Slavic root cap or kap, meaning "head"; the late Middle English word cabbage derives from the word caboche, from the Picard dialect of Old French.
This in turn is a variant of the Old French caboce. Through the centuries, "cabbage" and its derivatives have been used as slang for numerous items and activities. Cash and tobacco have both been described by the slang "cabbage", while "cabbage-head" means a fool or stupid person and "cabbaged" means to be exhausted or, vulgarly, in a vegetative state. Cabbage seedlings have a thin cordate cotyledon; the first leaves produced are ovate with a lobed petiole. Plants are 40–60 cm tall in their first year at the mature vegetative stage, 1.5–2.0 m tall when flowering in the second year. Heads average between 0.5 and 4 kg, with fast-growing, earlier-maturing varieties producing smaller heads. Most cabbages have thick, alternating leaves, with margins that range from wavy or lobed to dissected. Plants have root systems that are shallow. About 90 percent of the root mass is in the upper 20–30 cm of soil; the inflorescence is an unbranched and indeterminate terminal raceme measuring 50–100 cm tall, with flowers that are yellow or white.
Each flower has four petals set in a perpendicular pattern, as well as four sepals, six stamens, a superior ovary, two-celled and contains a single stigma and style. Two of the six stamens have shorter filaments; the fruit is a silique that opens at maturity through dehiscence to reveal brown or black seeds that are small and round in shape. Self-pollination is impossible, plants are cross-pollinated by insects; the initial leaves form a rosette shape comprising 7 to 15 leaves, each measuring 25–35 cm by 20–30 cm. Many shapes and leaf textures are found in various cultivated varieties of cabbage. Leaf types are divided between crinkled-leaf
The flowering plants known as angiosperms, Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants, with 64 orders, 416 families 13,164 known genera and c. 369,000 known species. Like gymnosperms, angiosperms are seed-producing plants. However, they are distinguished from gymnosperms by characteristics including flowers, endosperm within the seeds, the production of fruits that contain the seeds. Etymologically, angiosperm means a plant; the term comes from the Greek words sperma. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms in the Triassic Period, 245 to 202 million years ago, the first flowering plants are known from 160 mya, they diversified extensively during the Early Cretaceous, became widespread by 120 mya, replaced conifers as the dominant trees from 100 to 60 mya. Angiosperms differ from other seed plants in several ways, described in the table below; these distinguishing characteristics taken together have made the angiosperms the most diverse and numerous land plants and the most commercially important group to humans.
Angiosperm stems are made up of seven layers. The amount and complexity of tissue-formation in flowering plants exceeds that of gymnosperms; the vascular bundles of the stem are arranged such that the phloem form concentric rings. In the dicotyledons, the bundles in the young stem are arranged in an open ring, separating a central pith from an outer cortex. In each bundle, separating the xylem and phloem, is a layer of meristem or active formative tissue known as cambium. By the formation of a layer of cambium between the bundles, a complete ring is formed, a regular periodical increase in thickness results from the development of xylem on the inside and phloem on the outside; the soft phloem becomes crushed, but the hard wood persists and forms the bulk of the stem and branches of the woody perennial. Owing to differences in the character of the elements produced at the beginning and end of the season, the wood is marked out in transverse section into concentric rings, one for each season of growth, called annual rings.
Among the monocotyledons, the bundles are more numerous in the young stem and are scattered through the ground tissue. They once formed the stem increases in diameter only in exceptional cases; the characteristic feature of angiosperms is the flower. Flowers show remarkable variation in form and elaboration, provide the most trustworthy external characteristics for establishing relationships among angiosperm species; the function of the flower is to ensure fertilization of the ovule and development of fruit containing seeds. The floral apparatus may arise terminally from the axil of a leaf; as in violets, a flower arises singly in the axil of an ordinary foliage-leaf. More the flower-bearing portion of the plant is distinguished from the foliage-bearing or vegetative portion, forms a more or less elaborate branch-system called an inflorescence. There are two kinds of reproductive cells produced by flowers. Microspores, which will divide to become pollen grains, are the "male" cells and are borne in the stamens.
The "female" cells called megaspores, which will divide to become the egg cell, are contained in the ovule and enclosed in the carpel. The flower may consist only of these parts, as in willow, where each flower comprises only a few stamens or two carpels. Other structures are present and serve to protect the sporophylls and to form an envelope attractive to pollinators; the individual members of these surrounding structures are known as petals. The outer series is green and leaf-like, functions to protect the rest of the flower the bud; the inner series is, in general, white or brightly colored, is more delicate in structure. It functions to attract bird pollinators. Attraction is effected by color and nectar, which may be secreted in some part of the flower; the characteristics that attract pollinators account for the popularity of flowers and flowering plants among humans. While the majority of flowers are perfect or hermaphrodite, flowering plants have developed numerous morphological and physiological mechanisms to reduce or prevent self-fertilization.
Heteromorphic flowers have short carpels and long stamens, or vice versa, so animal pollinators cannot transfer pollen to the pistil. Homomorphic flowers may employ a biochemical mechanism called self-incompatibility to discriminate between self and non-self pollen grains. In other species, the male and female parts are morphologically separated, developing on different flowers; the botanical term "Angiosperm", from the Ancient Greek αγγείον, angeíon and σπέρμα, was coined in the form Angiospermae by Paul Hermann in 1690, as the name of one of his primary divisions of the plant kingdom. This included flowering plants possessing seeds enclosed in capsules, distinguished from his Gymnospermae, or flowering plants with achenial or schizo-carpic fruits, the whole fruit or each of its pieces being here regarded as a seed and naked; the term and its antonym were maintained by Carl Linnaeus with the same sense, but with restricted application, in the names of the orders of his class Didynamia. Its use with any
Chard or Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable. In the cultivars of the Flavescens-Group, the leaf stalks are large and prepared separately from the leaf blade; the leaf blade can reddish in color. Chard, like other green leafy vegetables, has nutritious leaves, making it a popular component of healthy diets. Chard has been used in cooking for centuries, but because of its similarity to beets and vegetables like cardoon, the common names that cooks and cultures have used for chard may be confusing. Chard was first described in 1753 by Carl von Linné as Beta vulgaris var. cicla. Its taxonomic rank has changed many times, so it was treated as a subspecies, convariety or variety of Beta vulgaris.. The accepted name for all beet cultivars, like chard, sugar beet and beetroot, is Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulgaris, they are cultivated descendants of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. Maritima. Chard belongs to the chenopods, which are now included in the family Amaranthaceae. There are two rankless cultivar groups for chard: the Cicla-Group for the leafy spinach beet, the Flavescens-Group for the stalky Swiss chard.
The word "chard" descends from the fourteenth-century French carde, from Latin carduus meaning artichoke thistle. The origin of the adjective "Swiss" is unclear, since the Mediterranean plant is not native to Switzerland; some attribute the name to it having been first described by a Swiss botanist, either Gaspard Bauhin or Karl Heinrich Emil Koch. Chard is used in traditional Swiss cuisine, namely in a dish called Capuns from the Canton of Grisons. Chard is a biennial. Clusters of chard seeds are sown, in the Northern Hemisphere, between June and October, depending on the desired harvesting period. Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender, or after maturity when they are larger and have tougher stems. Harvesting is a continuous process. Raw chard is perishable. Cultivars of chard include green forms, such as'Lucullus' and'Fordhook Giant', as well as red-ribbed forms such as'Ruby Chard' and'Rhubarb Chard'; the red-ribbed forms are attractive in the garden, but as a general rule, the older green forms tend to outproduce the colorful hybrids.'Rainbow Chard' is a mix of other colored varieties, mistaken for a variety unto itself.
Chard has shiny, ribbed leaves, with petioles that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar. Chard is a spring harvest plant. In the Northern Hemisphere, chard is ready to harvest as early as April and lasts through May. Chard is one of the hardier leafy greens, with a harvest season lasting longer than kale, spinach or baby greens; when daytime temperatures start to hit 30 °C, the harvest season is coming to an end. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are cooked or sautéed. In Egyptian cuisine, chard is cooked with taro root and coriander in a light broth. In Turkish cuisine, chard is cooked as sarma or börek. In a 100-gram serving, raw Swiss chard provides 79 kilojoules of food energy and has rich content of vitamins A, K, C, with 122%, 1038%, 50% of the DV. Having significant content in raw chard are vitamin E and the dietary minerals, manganese and potassium. Carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber have low content; when chard is cooked by boiling and mineral contents are reduced compared to raw chard, but still supply significant proportions of the DV