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Daucus carote
Wild carrot
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Daucus
Species: carota
Binomial name
Daucus carota

A carrot is a root vegetable, typically orange in color with a woody texture. Carrots have a taproot.

The word also names a river in Saskatchewan, Canada: see Carrot River



Carrots are often eaten raw, whole or shaved into salads for color, and are often cooked in soups and stews. One can also make carrot cake. The greens are not generally eaten in most cultures, but are edible.

Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths. Beta carotene or Vitamin A, which gives this vegetable its characteristic orange colour, is thought to enhance the performance of receptors on the retina and thus improve eyesight. Carrots are also rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals and are an alkaline food.


The carrot (Daucus carota) belongs to the family Apiaceae; the wild ancestor of the carrot is the wildflower Wild carrot.

Carrots originally came in purple, white and yellow colours. The now synonymous orange carrot was developed in Holland as a tribute to William I of Orange during the Dutch fight for independence from Spain in the 16th century. The orange carrot, not only had a better taste but also had beta carotene making it healthier, and so all other carrots stopped being planted.

Geneticist Leonard M. Pike researched and reinvented a purple and white carrot with substances to prevent cancer. Sales were rather few.

The world's largest carrot is located in Okahune , New Zealand.

External links

Carrot plants
Carrot plants

See also

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45