Chard : Italian Silver Rib
Favorite of Italian cooks
Exclusive. Selected by discerning Italian cooks for clean mellow flavor, handsome vigorous plants have wide, silvery mid-ribs & crinkly, broad, deep green leaves. Great spinach alternative.Chenopodiaceae Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla
Chard is cross pollinated by the wind, so must be isolated from other varieties (and from Beets). This means having only one variety flowering at one time (ideally within a distance of two miles, though this is not always practical unless you have a very big garden).
Chard is a biennial, which means the root has to survive the winter before it can produce seed. In mild climates, you can simply leave them in the ground (cover with mulch if necessary). In colder climates you may have to lift the roots and store them in a root cellar, as described above. Replant the best roots in spring and the seed will ripen by midsummer. A flowering chard plant may get to be 8 feet tall and can be quite top heavy, so is often staked to prevent it from falling over.
You will get a lot of seed from one plant, let alone 5 plants, which is the minimum number required to maintain some genetic variability.