Sea beet used to be very rare in the Netherlands. The plant grows mostly in southwestern Europe. The Netherlands was too far north. But now the plant is also found along the coasts of the Baltic Sea. It only grows along coasts, being very dependent upon a silty environment. Nowadays, sea beet is even cultivated as a silty vegetable. It is the forefather of all the other beets we eat, such as red beet and sugar beet. Sea beet grows in nutrient-rich soil, such as the flood mark at the foot of dunes and dikes and in sandy inlets, including harbors. Breaks in the dike have often created suitable habitats and helped this plant to flourish.