The carrot is a root vegetable with typically a crisp texture. Carrots have been bred to be very sweet and tender and different colors have been developed by traditional breeding within the last century such as purple, red, and white. The carrot is used for livestock fodder and as a pollinator for other cultivated plants. Carrot flower blossoms are eaten by some vertebrates including swine. But the question is that where do carrot seeds come from?

Where do carrots come from?

Carrots are part of the family Umbelliferae, which includes herbs such as dill and fennel as well as other root crops like parsnip, celery, and parsley. The wild ancestors of the carrot were small, purple-colored roots that grew throughout central Europe and southwest Asia. Some anthropologists believe that carrots were originally in the Mediterranean region, where people cultivated wild carrots for their edible leaves and roots. The wild carrot may have been the ancestor of today’s domesticated carrot.

Two parental types:

The modern carrot was bred by bi-crossing two parental types: the cultivated variety of yellow-rooted parsnip and a wild beach plant of red color. The earliest records of carrot cultivation date back to ancient Babylon and Egypt, though they were probably first grown in Central Asia well before this. In the classical era, it was thought that carrots symbolized furrows and were planted near brothels so that their roots would attract more customers. A more practical reason is suggested by the ancient Greek name for carrot, which was Apios. In medieval times, carrots were sometimes used as a trick to fool animals into thinking they were eating something more succulent and nourishing. In ancient times, carrots were one of the mainstay vegetables grown in the garden for use in casseroles or soups. The cultivation of carrots spread in Western Europe and East Asia due to European exploration.

The carrot has been cultivated since ancient times. It was first used as a food source in northern China during the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). The plant is recorded in Japan at least as far back as the 8th century.

Benefits of Eating Carrot:

  1. Carrots are very rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and B complex.
  2. It is a good source of dietary fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium.
  3. Carrots are a low-calorie and high carbohydrate food. They have a high water content, so they provide a feeling of fullness.
  4. Carrots can be used as a meal replacement to help lose weight.
  5. Carrots can be used in salads and stir-fries.
  6. It is an excellent source of dietary folate, manganese, potassium, and beta-carotene.
  7. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the body. The lack of fat in carrots allows for efficient absorption of vitamin A from the body. It is also a good source of vitamin C and folate. Carrots are a very reliable source of vitamin A, as they are easily absorbed by the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get seeds from carrots?

From the garden. To get carrot seeds, you will need to let a carrot develop past its peak stage of growth, or wait until a plant dies and use the seeds from the root.

How long will carrots keep in storage?

Very well. Carrot seeds can be stored for 2–3 yrs if kept below 32 Degrees F (0 degrees C) in a low humidity environment. For maximum long-term storage, use Mylar type bags with oxygen absorbers.

Can you get seeds from carrot tops?

Yes, but the carrot tops tend to be bitter tasting and are not a suitable vegetable in themselves. This “seed” is actually a form of gourd which does not produce roots.

How do you eat carrot seeds?

Carrot seeds are tiny and harmless, but easily bruised and can be very difficult to remove from your food.

Are carrot seeds poisonous?

No. All carrot seeds are edible; although some varieties of carrot have a bitter flavor, especially if they are dried or boiled. Carrot seeds are also known as “canary seed,” because they were originally used as canary seed in the U.S., which is why the seed looks like a canary.

What part of the carrot do carrot seeds come from?

The carrot seeds come from the same part of the plant that produces the actual roots. To get carrot seed, you simply let a carrot grow past its peak, or allow a dead/dying root to sit until it decomposes and you can use its seeds.

Are there any side effects to eating carrot seeds?

Carrot seeds are not known to have any side effects when eaten. They can, however, be very small and easily lost in your food. They have been used as a folk remedy to treat kidney stones, because they are thought to pass through the kidney unchanged and so make the stones easier to pass.

Carrot seeds are of little nutritional value since they contain just 18 calories in a single ounce (28 grams). However, they do contain vitamin A, B complex vitamins and some dietary fiber. Carrot seeds are a good source of manganese, vitamin C and folate.

How old do carrots have to be before they can be used to make carrots?

If a carrot has flowers, it is immature and can’t be eaten, but if it has the long taproot of a mature plant then it is ready to harvest and can be consumed. However, if the taproot doesn’t reach the ground then this doesn’t mean that it’s not ready for harvesting.

Do carrots bear seeds?

No, carrots do not bear seeds. Carrot seeds are the product of the wild carrot plant and are used to propagate and save the carrot species.

Is there a difference between carrots and carrot seeds?

Yes, carrots on a large scale come from cultivated carrots, but these cultivated carrots have small rootlets growing from them that grow the roots so farmers can easily harvest them. Carrot seeds come from plants that produce flowers.

Summary

Carrot seeds have been cultivated for centuries. They are rising in popularity as a snack food or for use in baking. Carrots are available year-round, and can be found at local grocery stores, farmer’s markets and roadside stands. There are many varieties of carrots, but they all produce seeds that can be used in the same way.

Carrot seed is typically harvested from the wild carrot plant known as Queen Anne’s lace.

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