What is the botanical name of carrot, and what class of vegetable, scientific family, or category does it fall under?
Carrots are herbaceous root vegetables belonging to the parsley family, including the parsnip. The cultivated carrot is a cultivar of the wild carrot, also known as Queen Anne’s lace. The wild carrot is native to the temperate parts of Europe and southwest Asia.
The wild carrot applies to the long edible tapering taproot of the cultivated type. The taproots are orange in color, and they also have a variety of colors depending on the cultivar you growing. They include pink, white, yellow, or purple and have a crisp texture when freshly harvested.
The wild carrots play a valuable role in sustaining the ecosystem. The leaves and roots are a source of food for animals; carrot flowers provide nectar for bees that pollinate the plants.
The cultivated carrot provides nutritious food for humans, and it has a distinct flavor texture and color. Humans have learned how to cultivate this root vegetable and produce a variety of cultivars. These cultivars can either be eaten raw or cooked in a stew soup or baked into a carrot cake.
The Botanical Name Of Carrot And Its Background
The scientific name of a carrot, also known as the botanical name, is Daucus carota. It is a member of the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family. This family consists of aromatic plants with hollow stems, including parsley, cumin, carrot, dill, parsnip, caraway fennel, and other relatives.
The Apiaceae family is large, with about 300 genera and 3,000 species. The term Umbelliferae comes from the arrangement of flowers on a stem in the form of a compound umbel. Each umbel consists of small, symmetrical flowers with 5 small petals, 5 sepals, and 5 stamens.
The Wild Carrot
The wild carrot is also known as Queen Anne’s lace or bishops lace. It is a flowering plant in the family of Apiaceae that is native to temperate regions of Southwest Asia and Europe.
Daucus carota subsp. sativus is the cultivated form of the wild carrot. Its greatly enlarged and palatable textured edible taproot has been grown, but it is still of the same species.
The wild carrot is a biennial plant that grows up to 1 m and flowers from June to August. Its umbels are pale pink and claret-colored before they open to bright white and rounded into tiny blossoms of full bloom.
The umbels are three to 7 cm wide with narrow bracts beneath; as these flowers turn to seed, the umbels contract and become concave like a bird’s nest.
The wild carrot was introduced in North America, commonly known as the Queen Anne’s lace. It is also called so because the flower resembles the Lace and the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the Lace. The function of the tiny red flower is to attract insects.
The edible part of the cultivated carrot is the taproot. It grows the leaves in the spring and summer while building the taproot with stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to help flower.
The Family Genus And Species Of Cultivated Carrots
The cultivated carrot is a member of the Apiaceae family, and some widely cultivated plants like deal parsley parsnip, fennel, and celery.
The genus Daucus carota carries a number of 20 species. The cultivated carrot is one of the subspecies of the character species scientifically known as daucus carota subsp. Sativus.
Based on the root and leaves morphology, the botanical varieties of carrots have 2 large groups, the western and eastern carrots.
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The Western Group
The Western group includes carrot plants whose roots do not branch out and their leaves have deeper lobes with blooming taking place in the second year. The root color is yellow, red, orange, violet, and white.
The western carrots originate from the East as a result of the selection of the wild Mediterranean subspecies white and yellow with these two owing to the natural mutations of purple and violet carrots.
The modern carrots originate from their common ancestor developed by the Dutch growers in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since then, the carrots are now more orange than any other color.
The Eastern Group
The Eastern group includes carrots whose roots branch out, and their leaves do not have the lobes, and blooming occurs within the first year.
The root color of this group varies and could be yellow or a combination of black, red-violet, and yellow. Despite the presence of current yellow populations – anthocyanin in carrots have the presence of purple and violet-colored carrots.
The Eastern group carrots are from India, Afghanistan, Iran, and Russia with the carrots of the Western group progressively replacing them up.
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The Cultivated Carrots
The cultivated carrot is a cool-season biennial vegetable that grows as an annual for its edible fleshy root. The first year the leaves grow reaching a height of about 50 cm and the second year the plant flowers with the final height of about 1.20 to 1.50 m.
Sometimes the stem forms in the first year and this occurs when the root has a diameter of about 1/2 cm. It may also develop at least eight leaves prematurely especially when exposed to about 2 months of low winter temperatures.
Vernalization is the process of exposing carrots to low temperatures. This process is directly related to the cultivation zone that requires exposure at low temperatures from 0 to 10 degrees in temperate regions for about 2 months and 15 degrees in tropical and subtropical areas. Modern carrot varieties take about 62 and 30 days to reach full maturity.
Whether you’re looking for a carrot Latin name or a carrot scientific name what’s the botanical name of carrot Daucus carota is the name to go with. A little history and background of both the cultivated and wild carrot provide us with some historical facts about this vegetable that we all love.