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Rainbow Swiss chard is distinguished by its bouquet of wrinkled, slightly savoyed rich green and bronze leaves and bright colored stems. The leaves grow upright and tall from a dense rosette of ribbed stems in a myriad of colors including gold, pink, orange, purple, red, and white with bright and pastel variations. Rainbow Swiss chard is not unique from other chards in its subtle earthy flavors along with slight notes of tang, due to its betalain pigment content. The leaves are succulent and tender when young, the stems, fibrous and sometimes bitter and inedible.
Rainbow Swiss chard is available year-round.
Rainbow Swiss chard, also known a 5-color Silverbeet and Bright Lights is botanically called Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla var. Flavescens. Rainbow Swiss chard is a heritage leafy green often referred to as leaf beet. Chard is distinguished from beets by its lack of enlarged fleshy underground beet. A shared characteristic of both beets and Rainbow Swiss chard is a visible one. They both contain the compound, betalain. Betalains are nitrogen-containing water-soluble compounds that are found only in a limited number of plant lineages. To the naked eye they are simply pigments of red and yellow hues. But in nature, these betalains act as a source of survival, protecting the plant from UV rays while also attracting insects and bees for pollination.