Native to the Mediterranean area. It belongs to the genus Beta and to the family Amaranthaceae.
The plant is biannual, with a pivotal root that constitutes the main organ of accumulation of reserves. Its flowers are hermaphrodites with a cross fertilization. The seeds are woody and are attached to the chalice.
It is harvested for its globose root that forms an important part of European cuisine.
The main producing countries are France, Germany and the United States.