Collected at an Armenian market by a Dutch seed enthusiast, this variety produces golf-ball sized, round, magenta roots with distinct rings and a sweet flavour.
Our donor was given this variety by a friend, whose family had grown it for several generations and achieved much success with it on the show bench. Vigorous, easy to grow and long-rooted, it produces sweet, dark pink flesh that is tender even when allowed to grow extra-large. The beets also store well. The attractive red and green foliage can be cooked and eaten like chard.
This early, round beet was supplied by Beck’s High Grade Seed Company, Indiana, USA between 1822 and 1920, but mentioned earlier in Sauer’s Herbal (1774), who suggested cooking the beets in red wine and honey. Blood turnip was a term used commonly for varieties bred specifically for garden use. Described as such in 1881 by DM Ferry & Co, seed merchants, Detroit, USA; “the roots are uniform good size, smooth, and handsome, and plentifully produced. The flesh is quite rich in colour, and very tender and sweet.”