Ruby Red Swiss Chard is the sweet version of the common chard. It is also known as Rhubarb Swiss Chard. This heirloom variety was native to the Mediterranean region, where it was first introduced in 1857. It features a beautiful candy apple red stalks and veins, along with dark green and wrinkled leaves. Thus, it makes a pretty ornamental crop for your gardens. Nevertheless, it also makes a highly nutritious vegetable crop. Like the common chard, this variety is also closely related to beets. But, it’s much older than them – since ancient times. As a matter of fact, Aristotle mentioned this red-stalked chard around 350 BC. In 1848, it was listed among the beets. Thus, it provides the sweetness and earthiness flavors of beetroot with the salinity and bitterness of spinach. It can be eaten raw or cooked.
Binomial Name: Beta Vulgaris subsp. Cicla var. Flavescens
Ruby Red Swiss Chard Trivia
- Although the Ruby Red Swiss chard is related to beet, its roots are inedible.
- This variety is often confused with rhubarb. While their combination of colors are the same, they are from a different family. While all parts of the Ruby Red Swiss chard contain oxalic acid that can form urinary tract stones, rhubarb leaves contain higher concentrations, making it poisonous for human consumption.
- Ruby Red Swiss chard also has its subvarieties. The most popular ones include Magenta Sunset, Rhubarb, and Vulcan.
- Betalain pigments are the ones responsible for this plant’s bright red color. These pigments are crucial for the plant’s survival as it attracts insects and bees for pollination while providing natural UV protection.