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Beetroot vs. Beet: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 5, 2023
Beetroot refers specifically to the edible taproot of the beet plant, while beet can refer to the entire plant, including its leaves.

Key Differences

Beetroot is the term that specifically refers to the round, fleshy, typically red or purple root of the beet plant. This part of the plant is commonly consumed in various cuisines around the world due to its rich flavor and nutritional value. Beetroot can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, or pickled, and is popular for its vibrant color.
Beet, on the other hand, can be a more inclusive term. While it often refers to the same edible root, it can also encompass the entire plant, especially in agricultural or gardening contexts. This means when someone talks about beets, they could be referring to beet greens, the above-ground leaves, which are also edible and rich in nutrients.
It's worth noting that regional vernacular can play a role in the differentiation. For instance, in British English, "beetroot" is the more commonly used term for the edible root. Meanwhile, in American English, "beet" is often utilized for the same purpose, although context can clarify its specific meaning.
In culinary contexts, the distinction may be less pronounced. Recipes might use "beet" or "beetroot" interchangeably when referring to the root. However, understanding that beet can also mean the whole plant can provide clarity in broader discussions about the vegetable.

Comparison Chart

Part of Plant

Edible taproot
Can refer to the whole plant

Common Usage

Often used in British English
Predominantly used in American English


Both root and leaves are edible


Culinary, especially for the root
Culinary, agricultural, and botanical

Associated Color

Typically red or purple
Color varies (root, stems, leaves)

Beetroot and Beet Definitions


A dark red or purple root vegetable.
Beetroot juice is known for its vibrant hue.


The whole Beta vulgaris plant.
The beet garden is thriving this season.


The edible taproot of the Beta vulgaris plant.
Roasted beetroot pairs well with goat cheese.


A common garden plant with edible parts.
He prefers golden beets over the red variety.


A nutrient-rich root consumed worldwide.
Beetroot is high in fiber and essential minerals.


A plant known for both its root and its greens.
The beet greens were sautéed with garlic.


A vegetable often used in pickling.
Pickled beetroot is a popular sandwich topping.


A root vegetable that can be red, golden, or striped.
She harvested a large beet from her garden.


The round, fleshy root of the beet plant.
She added slices of beetroot to her salad.


A biennial Eurasian plant (Beta vulgaris) grown as a crop plant for its edible roots and leaves.


The edible root of the beet.


The swollen root of this plant eaten as a vegetable, typically having reddish flesh.


A normally deep-red-coloured root vegetable usually cooked or pickled before eating; beet.


The sugar beet.


The edible part of the root of a beet plant, raw or prepared.


Beta vulgaris, a plant with a swollen root which is eaten or used to make sugar.
The beet is a hardy species.
There are beets growing over these.


To turn a bright red or purple colour.


A beetroot, a swollen root of such a plant.


Beet having a massively swollen red root; widely grown for human consumption


To improve; to mend.


Round red root vegetable


To kindle a fire.


To rouse.


A biennial plant of the genus Beta, which produces an edible root the first year and seed the second year.


The root of plants of the genus Beta, different species and varieties of which are used for the table, for feeding stock, or in making sugar.


Biennial Eurasian plant usually having a swollen edible root; widely cultivated as a food crop


Round red root vegetable


A plant with a swollen root and edible leaves.
The beet is a versatile vegetable in cooking.


Can the term beet mean the whole plant?

Yes, beet can refer to both the root and the entire plant.

Is beetroot always red?

No, beetroot can be red, golden, or even striped.

Are beet greens edible?

Yes, the leaves of the beet plant are edible and nutritious.

What is beetroot?

Beetroot is the edible taproot of the beet plant.

Can you juice a beet?

Yes, both beetroot and beet greens can be juiced.

Which term is more common in the UK?

"Beetroot" is more commonly used in the UK.

How do you store beetroot?

Beetroot can be stored in a cool, dry place or refrigerated.

Can beetroot be eaten raw?

Yes, beetroot can be consumed raw, roasted, boiled, or pickled.

Do beet and beetroot taste the same?

While they come from the same plant, the root and the greens might have different flavor profiles.

Why is beetroot often used in athletic supplements?

Beetroot is believed to enhance stamina and oxygen use in athletes.

How does beetroot benefit health?

Beetroot is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Can you roast beets?

Yes, both beetroot and beet greens can be roasted.

How long does it take to grow beets?

Beets usually mature in 50-70 days, depending on the variety.

Can beetroot stain your hands?

Yes, the vibrant color of some beetroot varieties can stain hands and clothing.

How do you differentiate beet and beetroot in cooking?

Context is key. If a recipe mentions beet greens or entire beet, it refers to the whole plant. If it specifies beetroot, it means just the root.

Are there beetroot supplements?

Yes, beetroot supplements are available, often marketed for health and athletic performance.

Are there white beets?

Yes, there are varieties of beets with white roots.

Are beets related to chard?

Yes, both beets and chard belong to the Beta vulgaris species, but they are different cultivars.

Do beets have medicinal properties?

While beets are nutritious, it's always important to consult with health professionals regarding medicinal claims.

Is beet sugar the same as beetroot sugar?

Beet sugar is derived from the sugar beet, a different variety, but "beetroot" typically refers to the garden beet.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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