One of a series of innovative breeding lines from the former National Vegetable Research Station at Wellesbourne (now Warwick HRI, part of Warwick University), it remained a stalwart variety amongst gardeners for many years. An early, prolific and fast-growing round-rooted type; Lawrence Hills states in The Vegetable Finder that it matures in about 10 weeks. Excellent sweet flavour; both juicy and crunchy when young.
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.”