Herbs annual, biennial, or perennial, smooth, glabrous. Stems prostrate or decumbent, ribbed, striate. Leaves alternate, petiolate; leaf blade flattened, margin entire or subentire. Flowers solitary or in 2- or 3-flowered glomerules arranged in terminal spikes on upper part of branches, without bractlets, perfect, fused at base and falling together at utricle maturity. Perianth urceolate, 5-parted, mostly herbaceous, more rarely petaloid, united and hardened at base; segments erect or infolded, longitudinally keeled abaxially. Stamens 5, perigynous; filaments subulate, united proximally into a glandular disk; anthers oblong. Stigmas 2 or 3(-5), stigmatic surface papillate. Utricle proximally adnate to perianth; pericarp succulent or hardened distally. Seed horizontal, depressed globose; testa leathery, lustrous, free from pericarp; embryo annular or subannular; perisperm copious.
Herbs, annual, biennial, or perennial, often with fleshy, thickened roots, glabrous throughout. Stems erect or procumbent, not jointed, not armed, not fleshy. Leaves alternate, petiolate or sessile; blade ovate-cordate to rhombic-cuneate, margins ± entire, apex obtuse . Inflorescences spikelike cymes or glomerules, ebracteate at least in distal 1/2. Flowers bisexual, bracteate; perianth segments 3-5, distinct, sometimes petaloid, rounded or keeled abaxially, wings and spines absent; stamens 5; ovary semi-inferior; stigmas usually 2-3(-5), connate basally. Fruiting structures achenes, connate with receptacle, often enclosed by swollen perianth. Seeds horizontal, orbicular or reniform; seed coat dark brown, smooth; embryo ± annular, perisperm copious. x = 9.
|Beet, chard [derivation uncertain, possibly from Celtic name for red root]|