Different types of carrots

Carrots are the most common vegetable all over the world. There are more than 700 carrot species. Let’s find out which one is the best carrot varieties for your garden depending on soil, season and environment.

Having too many kinds, create an opportunity to grow carrots in different color and size. As well as doubt too.

Actually, this generates confusion in my mind last year when I was about to start my first carrot farm.

I was confused in: which carrot species should I grow? Does the soil is perfect to grow particular carrot varieties?

Also, Farming Method wants to publish a post on Carrot Farming. Thus, I wanted to learn in details, because new farmers may get messy too.

So, I contact my farmer friends all over the world whom I can trust. Then I asked them a simple question ” What is the best species of carrot that you farmed in your garden?”

Note: Carrots have 5-6 types of roots and those different types of roots thrive in the different type of soil and environment.

The answer was in different patterns. But there are some common names i.e. Autumn kings, types i.e. Nantes Type. People also mentioned different sizes, and which one they prefer on which seasons.

After a short research on the internet, facebook group and the thing I learn from my friends. I divided them and put them into different sections and list so that a beginner farmer can Implement them.


Best Carrot Varieties

Denver carrot types

You can find the best carrot types for your garden depending on the soil you want them to grow.

Remember it was not easy to collect so much data. So there is a chance, that I may or may not mention some popular varieties of carrots. But overall I tried to clarify the dependency of carrots.

The carrots production is highly dependent on soil quality, weather and season and some other aspects.

Here to Understand this, Read carefully throughout this is the list of best carrot varieties.

Various Kinds of Carrots – Depending on Soil, Carrot Roots Type:

As it is mentioned above that there are five main categories depending on soil, root types, planting seasons and weather.

But, There are mainly 4 types of soil that can grow carrots,

  1. Sandy Loomy Soil- They can grow 90% of varieties.
  2. Rocky Soil- On different Stats of USA, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and so on.
  3. Hard/heavy soil- This includes hard not cracked clay, Also includes Indian Territory Soils.
  4. Red and Black soils- African typical soil, found in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa and others.

Those soil types are different from each other, some preserve water and nutrition at the surface.

On the other hand, in some soil carrot roots have to travel several inches deep to get those nutrients.

There’re several types of roots too. But this is very complicated. Depending on the soil you have to choose the species you want to grow.

If I give you an example, you may understand the soil dependency.

Smaller roots can grow loose soil. If you want to cultivate them in a pot or on your balcony, they are the preferable ones.

Hard soil requires strong long roots. Because, if the roots cannot gather vitamins and water from the soil they can’t grow.

Rocky s Red soil grows carrot types that are short and stout.

Here you will find the list of different kinds of carrots.

Nantes Type :

  • Soil & Season: A heavy/hard soil carrot which mainly grows duringNantes carrot


  • Carrot Size: Cylindrical ,length 6 – 7″ inches, 1-2″ in diameter.
  • Short Classification: Almost ideally cylindrical, the top to bottom round. It has sweet taste, nearly red meat, blah blah. Nantes type of carrot are larger but there are some other large types.
  • Best Varieties: The profitable kinds are “Newmarket F1″,”Bolero” Touchon, “Nairobi F1” and Ingot. ‘Napoli’, ‘Touchon’, ‘Napa’ or ‘White Satin.’
  • Growing Periods: 60 days to 70 days long.

Danvers Types :

  • Danvers carrot types

    Soil & Season: This produces stocky squarish roots into the real heavy soil where some longer tribe do not grow remarkably.

  • Carrot Size: half long carrot length is about 6 – 7 inches, 2 inches diameter. Conical shape, wider at the head than a narrow bottom.
  • Short Classification: If you imagine a carrot the first picture that came to your mind is Denver carrots. It has the strong flavor.
  • Best Varieties: Danvers 126, Heirloom Carrot.
  • Growing Periods: About 70 days.

Round types :

    • Soil & Season: This produces stocky squarish roots into the real heavy soil where some longer tribe do not grow remarkably.round types carrots
    • Carrot Size: Short, Small and round shape. About 2-3 inches long and have the same diameter.
    • Short Classification: Farmers grow them as an early crop. Basically, this is a short time crop. Often cultivated with Baby Corn, Cabbage, Onions, and Chilies.
    • Best Varieties: There are some modernized/improved types early crops denominated as “Early French Frame Lisa” “Rondo”, “Parmex” and “Kundulus”.
    • Growing Periods: About 40 to 50 days.

Chantenay type :

  • Soil and Season: The old and common hard soil carrots varieties. They are extremely dependent on weather. Planting season is winter if there is no frost, spring for the frosty area.Chantenay carrots
  • Carrot Size: 4 1/2 – 5 1/2 inches long and in a conical shape.
  • Short Description: Before Nantes types of carrots are engineered, this is the most common varieties all over the world. Chantenay types are short and stout.
  • Best Varieties: Regular races for commercial producers “Royal”, “Supreme” and “Chantenay Red Cored”. etc.
  • Growing Periods: About 60 to 70 days.

Amsterdam types :

  • Soil and Season: This Amsterdam species is durable and faster growing. They even grow in a pot.Amsterdam Carrots
  • Carrot Size: Small, slim, carrots, Less than 3 inches.
  • Short Description: Often they are raized in the in the pot or small gardens. Sweet and cute and They are quick growing that’s why it can be used as early crops.
  • Best Varieties: Popular varieties- “Souko”,”Amsterdam Forcing”, “Prim F1″,”Amsterdam Sweetheart”.
  • Growing Periods: About 35 to 50 days.

Imperator Types :

  • Soil and Season: This Imperator type is durable and grows sandy loam soil. Grow normally under a variety of temperature. Normal seed sowing starts in late May. For a fall crop, sowings start in late July.Autumn King
  • Carrot Size: Less than 7-10 inches. Smooth-skinned, slender roots, small core.
  • Short Description: They are the most common carrot kinds all over the world. Commercial farming friendly kinds & suitable strong tops allow mechanical harvesting.
  • Best Varieties: The popular ones areHeritage, Autumn King, Imperator 58, Nelson Nogales, Atomic Res, Orangette Orlando Gold, Premium 80, Sunrise, Sweetness, Bejo etc.
  • Growing Periods: About 70 to 75 days. But for some species, it is about 60 days.

Commercial Carrot Variations:

Commercial varieties are more immune to pests and diseases. The best carrots varieties are engineered to give vast harvests. And un debatably they are the best carrot varieties.

To select this category carrots, I apply this rules below:

  • These commercial carrots varieties are profitable.
  • The production is high and low-cost farming.
  • Storable – Keep the same taste and color for a long time.
  • Attractive, Sweet & healthy.

Here, I include some species, that are proven as a commercially farmable and attractive.

Autumn King – a true Winter carrot:

Considered as the largest of carrots (Imperator type) but need slightly more time to get mature. It is a remarkably healthful plus vigorous carrot with the potential to be the greatest yielding of all.

It grows in loose loam soil but it does not grow in either cold or hard soil.

The best varieties “Autumn King Vita Longa”.

Berliculum Type:

Quite extended cylindrical carrots which are actually late crop but highly profitable.

Suggested species – Bangor F1, Bericulum Berjo, Cardinal F1, Carotene 200* and Camberley.

Red-Cored Chantenay:

Red-Cored Chaney is common, 7 inches long 2-inch thick. The best part of them that, they remain sweet and tasty even they been stored/refrigerated.

Color is the most effective aspect of heirloom carrots. They can be found in different colors i.e white, orange, yellow, red and purple.

Best Heirloom Species are Lunar White, Cosmic Purple, and Atomic Red.

Other profitable kinds are Swamp King (late Spring), Paris Market (Short rooted), Bolero (Nantes), Spring Market Improved (New Zealand, Autumn sowing), and Viva La France Hybrid.

Special And Weird Varieties of Carrot:

There are some special also some weird types that farmers cultivate in there garden. Especially small and container/ pot grower carrots do not have demand on the local market.

But farmers tend to grow them organically in their farm. there are some special and weird carrot species.

Some of them are mentioned here.

Early Carrot Varieties List:

Early carrots have normally a common name structure of F1. If you find ” F1″ in any species name, They are likely to be an early crop.

The primary goal is to producing carrot to sell them or eat. Early carrots can be cultivated at most of the countries in the world.

Organic Carrot Varieties:

Nowadays organic foods have a huge demand in developed countries. In this natural non-chemical farming, varieties choosing is a very important aspect. Learn more at: start organic vegetable farming.

Because your success is dependent on that. So, the species that you choose for your garden have to be:

  • Resistance to pests and carrot virus.
  • Healthy, taste and highly yieldable.

Here I suggest these carrots for sowing: Topweight (best virus and pest immunity species in the world), Bolero, Juwarot (Healthiest Carrot), Gold Nugget, and Yellowstone.

Giant Varieties Name:

Wanganui Giant which originated in New Zealand. This demands deep loose soil with not too much fertilizer. Others are onward, Tucson.

Fast maturing varieties:

The Amsterdam and Nantes first growing. Planting – Harvesting Period is shorter than others. I.e Bolero and Ingot.

Farmers like to grow crops and vegetables quickly. Nantes are hybrid, engineered from Chantenay.

Stump Root Varieties (For Snow Affected Area):

There are some special varieties which can grow in the snow, these are the fast developing species usually maintain sufficient flavor and can be frozen whole.

The best kinds are King Chantenay, Corrie, Barbados, Onward (Giant Carrot), Guerande, and Gringo.

Rooftop Garden And Small Garden Suitable Carrot Kinds:

The Rondo or Suko (Market Friendly) kinds are well known to grow in Containers. They will grow in posts which is at least 12 inches deep.

In order to keep them moist use compost.

Best “baby carrot” varieties or best carrot varieties for canning such as Thumbelina, f1 carrot, Oxheart Orbit, Little Finger and Parmex.

Purple Carrot Varieties:

The Indigo, Purple Dragon, old Altrincham( neck exposed to light turns purple color), Pakistani (Also available RED, Yellow, and Orange) Cosmic Purple, Maroon, and Purple Haze are the best purple carrot varieties.

Rainbow Color Carrots:

This a commercial term which for carrot seeds. Actually, they combine different color of carrots seed in a single pack.

There is a huge benefit of cultivating multicolor vegetable, but I have found that multicolor variations do not taste as sweet as others.

Black Color Carrots:

Black carrots originate from turkey. They are mostly cultivated in Afganistan, Turkey, India, Pakistan and the middle east.

The common usage of black carrots in SALAD, and Drinks.

Best Species of Black Carrots are Black Nebula, Pusa Asita Black etc.

Different Types of Carrots

For those who want to try different types of carrots, there are plenty of options to choose from, and while many of them share flavor and nutrient characteristics, there are some important differences that you should know!

The most popular and readily available types of carrots include Chantenay carrots, Danvers carrots, baby carrots, Imperator carrots, and Nantes carrots, to name a few. Each of these larger groups also contains subtypes that vary slightly, but those minute details are beyond the scope of this article.

Chantenay Carrots

These carrot varieties grow to about 6-7 inches in length, known for having broad “shoulders”, tapering to a stocky tip. These carrots are also known to be quite hardy and can grow in more difficult conditions. The carrot greens in this variety will grow very aggressively, which may lead people to leave the carrots in the ground for too long. If they are not harvested at the proper time, however, they can become woody and unpleasant to eat. That being said, these carrots are also known to store very well over the course of the winter.

Danvers Carrots

This is the classic image of a carrot that most people imagine, ranging from 7-9 inches in length tapering evenly from the carrot green stem down to the tip. Famed for growing in rocky or harsher soils, this is a very popular cultivar in areas where cultivation is more difficult. Orange is the most common color for these carrots, which were first cultivated in Danvers, Massachusetts, but other shades are also available. They are often blocky or conical in shape, giving them a sturdier appearance.

Imperator Carrots

If you buy carrots in the grocery store or in commercial markets, these are most likely the carrots you buy. Roughly 10-12 inches in length, these are long and slender, but also hearty and strong, with a sweet core and a pleasant flavor. Imperator carrots only come in two varieties – Autumn King and Atomic Red – but there is a good chance that you have eaten both of them many times in your life! These can be stored for a week outside the fridge but should be refrigerated or frozen if you plan to keep them for longer. These need to be grown in very fine soil that penetrates at least one foot down.

Nantes Carrots

This variety of carrot doesn’t always look like a carrot, as they can be quite short and stocky, with very little green foliage at the top. The flesh is nearly red and the carrots have a very satisfying crunch, as well as a subtle sweetness. Popularly grown in many regions of France, there are more than 40 subtypes of Nantes carrots, and they are most commonly consumed in Europe, although they are available in the US and UK.

Planet Carrots

One of the most unusual types of carrot, planet carrots develops a taproot that is roughly the size of a golf ball. There is less sweetness in this variety than in the others, and the taproot can extend slightly longer or form an oval shape, but these generally remain quite small. These carrots were specifically developed to flourish in heavy, clay soils where other types of carrots would fail.

Baby Carrots

Although many people think these are stunted carrots, they are actually carved out of underdeveloped or broken carrots, before the woodiness and core of the carrot begin to form. Baby carrots were once made from any type of carrot, as a means to get the most out of the harvest, but now the larger carrots that lead to baby carrots are specially bred. Famers now grow baby carrots to be slightly sweeter than other varieties, making them the perfect snack food!

So go ahead and fill you vegetable basket with different colors!

The History Of Carrots And Carrot Colors

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We’re all used to see and eat an ordinary orange carrot, but did you know that there is an entire rainbow of carrot colors, and the orange root we all know and love is the new carrot color? Before then, carrots were purple, red, white, yellow, or black.

Root pigmentation depends on the relative proportion of different carotenoids for the white, yellow, orange and red types but only internally for the purple and black ones.

The orange carrot, now so familiar, was once a novelty. In fact, this young upstart was first cultivated a little more than four hundred years ago. Until then, the purple variety was supreme. Although we consider the carrot immutable, it has been continually reinvented though the ages.

The cultivated carrot is one of the most important root vegetables grown in temperate regions of the world. Historical data indicate that root colour has been differentially selected over time and according to geographical areas, but the time frame and geographic region(s) of the first cultivation of carrots are unclear.

The research team traced carrot evolution as far back as the dinosaurs. Sometime between the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods – roughly around the time dinosaurs went extinct – carrots, along with other plants of the era, picked up genetic advantages that allowed them to thrive in differing environmental conditions.

The earliest vegetable definitely known to be a carrot dates from the 10th century in Persia and Asia Minor and would have been quite unlike the orange rooted carrot of today. It is considered that сarrots were originally purple or white with a thin root, then a mutant occurred which removed the purple pigmentation resulting in a new race of yellow carrots, from which orange carrots were subsequently developed.

Almost five thousand years ago, carrots were firstly cultivated in the Iranian Plateau and then in Persian Empire. Western and Arabic literatures along with the studies by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveal that carrots were originated in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. The purple carrot existed in Central Asia for several centuries before it was brought west by the Arabs in about the 10th century. It spread slowly to the area of the Mediterranean and was probably white, yellow or purple.

However, it is not known whether or not the Egyptians or Greeks cultivated a very edible plant or if they only grew wild carrots for their seeds. Mostly they were used medicinally. Nowadays you can find and buy Natural Carrot Seed Oil, which is full of naturally-occurring beta carotene, provitamin A, vitamin E, carotenoids, tocopheryl & more. Natural Carrot Seed Oil is ideal for mature or dry skin types, as well as damaged and brittle hair. Ideal as a natural anti-aging beauty serum.

Carrots likewise found a place as a medicinal plant in the gardens of ancient Rome, where it was used as an aphrodisiac and in some cases as part of a concoction to prevent poisoning.

Red and yellow carrots started to appear in Europe in the 13th century and it is now known, from modern genetic research, that orange carrots were developed from those yellow varieties.

It was probably the Dutch who developed the orange carrot in the 16th century. Holland was the leading nation when it came to agricultural science at this time. But there is no documentary evidence that the Dutch “invented” orange carrots to honour their Royal Family, the House of orange. There is a tale, that the orange carrot was bred in the Netherlands in the 16th century to honour William of Orange. Though the development and stabilisation of the orange carrot root does appear to date from around that period in the Netherlands, it is unlikely that honouring William of Orange had anything to do with it. So, it is true that the Dutch developed and stabilised the orange carrot, but more likely subsequently the Dutch people adopted the colour orange and orange carrots as their national vegetable.

To this day, many in the Netherlands genuinely like to believe that orange carrots were originally grown specifically as a tribute to the House of Orange. No matter how many times it is repeated and passed on through the generations it still remains pure folklore.

But, it is also quite possible that orange carrots did exist before the 16th century, but there was no word to describe that colour, so carrots were often described as red or yellow and other variations of those colours. e.g. yellow-red. There are compelling arguments for a much earlier, near eastern origin – the Byzantine illustration in the Dioscorides codex, drawn in 512 ad shows quite clearly carrot plants with a thick, orange coloured root, indicating that carotene cultivars already existed at that time.

One of the earliest depictions of an orange carrot, in works of art – Pieter Aertsen Christ in the Home of Mary and Martha 1553 (oil on panel, location Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam).

Did the Dutch “invent” orange carrots to honour the House of Orange?

The first recorded use of orange as a colour name in English was in 1512. The word orange itself was introduced to English through the Spanish word “naranja”, which came from the Sanskrit word nāraṅga, which literally means “orange tree”. The French (or English) dropped the leading “n” and eventually we got the word “orange”. In the early 16th century, the word orange gradually started being used to not only refer to the fruit, but also what we now know of as the colour orange. (you can read more here)

Why are carrots orange? – Carrots are orange because they absorb certain wavelengths of light mcarrot crownore efficiently than others. Beta-carotene is the main pigment. Carotenoids are one of the most important groups of natural pigments. They cause the yellow/orange colours of many fruit and vegetables. Though beta-carotene is most abundant in carrots it is also found in pumpkins, apricots and nectarines. Dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are another good source, but the orange colour is masked by the green colour of chlorophyll.

Carrots are readily available in five main colors in the stores these days: orange, red, purple, white, and yellow. Each color has a different health benefit.

Orange carrots contain beta carotene, with some alpha-carotene, both of which are orange pigments. The body converts the high content beta carotene into Vitamin A, essential to the immune system for general well-being and healthy eyes. These carrots originate from Europe and the Middle East.

Yellow carrots contain xanthophylls, pigments similar to orange beta carotene, which help develop healthy eyes and aid in the fight against macular degeneration. They may also be useful in preventing tumors associated with lung and other cancers. These came from the Middle East.

Red carrots contain lycopene (another form of carotene), a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon; lycopene helps in the fight against heart disease and some cancers, including prostate cancer. These were originally from India and China.

Purple carrots (usually orange inside) get their pigment from an entirely different class, the anthocyanins. These pigments act as very powerful antioxidants, grabbing and holding onto harmful free radicals in the body. Anthocyanins also help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting. These originate from Turkey, and the Middle and Far East.

White carrots, by their very nature, lack pigment, but may contain other health-promoting substances called phytochemicals. One would say these are the least healthy of carrots. They originate from Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.

You can buy seeds of these colorful carrots online and grow in your garden! Just click on the each carrot color above to check the prices. 🙂

Source: sensationalcolor.com, carrotmuseum.co.uk

Buy carrot seed oil online:
Carrot Seed Oil is rich in beta carotene, vitamins A and E and pro-vitamin A. Carrot Seed Oil helps to heal dry, chapped and cracked skin, balances the moisture in skin, and well conditions the hair.

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Carrot, (Daucus carota), herbaceous, generally biennial plant of the Apiaceae family that produces an edible taproot. Among common varieties root shapes range from globular to long, with lower ends blunt to pointed. Besides the orange-coloured roots, white-, yellow-, and purple-fleshed varieties are known.

carrotCarrots (subspecies Daucus carota carota).Bill Tarpenning/U. S. Department of Agriculturecarrot; visionLearn about the relationship between carrot consumption and human vision.© American Chemical Society (A Britannica Publishing Partner)See all videos for this article

Wild carrot (subspecies D. carota carota, also called Queen Anne’s lace) is native to Eurasia and is thought to have been domesticated in Central Asia around 1000 ce. Prehistoric seeds have been found in archaeological digs, suggesting that the plant was used medicinally before the domestication of its edible root. Carrots were cultivated in China and northwestern Europe by the 13th century, and wild carrot was unintentionally distributed as a weed in the United States during European colonization. Domesticated carrots (subspecies D. carota sativus) are now extensively grown throughout temperate zones. In the 20th century, knowledge of the value of carotene (provitamin A) increased appreciation of the carrot, a rich source of the nutrient.

The plants require cool to moderate temperatures and are not grown in summer in the warmer regions. They require deep, rich, but loosely packed soil. Modern machines sow the seeds sparsely in bands to give room for plant development without need for thinning. An erect rosette of doubly compound, finely divided leaves develops above ground normally in the first season. The edible carrot and attached roots are below. If left unharvested, the plant survives through the winter, and large branched flower stalks arise the following growing season. The tiny white or pinkish flowers are borne on large compound clusters (umbels) at the ends of the main stalk and branches. The spiny seeds are produced in small segmented fruits called schizocarps. Seeds that are sold for planting have the spines removed.

gardening: vegetablesA carrot in a vegetable garden.© Yelkin/Fotolia

Fresh carrots should be firm and crisp, with smooth and unblemished skin. Bright-orange colour indicates high carotene content; smaller types are the most tender. Carrots are used in salads and as relishes and are served as cooked vegetables and in stews and soups.

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Different Carrots To Grow – What Are Some Popular Carrot Varieties

For many gardeners, one of the most exciting aspects of planning seasonal vegetable garden crops is the process of selecting new and interesting varieties of seed. When thumbing through seed catalogs, pages filled with unique and colorful cultivars can be quite enticing. While this is the case for many vegetables, it is especially true when growers begin the process of selecting which carrots to grow in the upcoming season, as there are many. Let’s learn more about the different types of carrots.

Becoming Familiar with Different Carrots to Grow

Carrots of both the hybrid and heirloom variety come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, colors, and tastes. Though diversity among carrot varieties is an asset, many of these are seldom offered in chain grocery stores. With so many options, finding kinds of carrots which are suited to the specific needs of growers is a task worth accomplishing.

By learning more about each type of carrot, home growers can make better informed decisions regarding which types will grow well in their own gardens.

Types of Carrots

Nantes – Nantes carrots are most commonly known for their long, cylindrical shapeand blunt ends. Growing well in a wide range of conditions, robust Nantes types grow well in areas where it may be difficult for different carrots to grow. This includes gardens with heavier soils containing more clay. Due to this fact, Nantes carrots are often a popular choice with home gardeners.

Types of Nantes carrot varieties include:

  • Scarlet Nantes
  • Napoli
  • Bolero
  • White Satin

Imperator – Imperator carrots are a very common choice for commercial carrot farmers due to their high sugar content. These carrots tend to grow much longer than many other types.

Carrot cultivars included within this type include:

  • Atomic Red
  • Cosmic Red
  • Tendersweet
  • Autumn King

Chantenay – Much like Nantes carrot plant types, Chantenay carrots do well when grown in less than ideal soils. For the best results, make certain to harvest these robust roots early. This will ensure consistently sweet and tender carrots.

Chantenay carrot varieties include:

  • Red Cored Chantenay
  • Royal Chantenay
  • Hercules

Danvers – This adaptable root vegetable has little core and is nicely tapered in shape and size with a deep orange color and rich flavor. Danver carrots are popular for their ease of care and typically perform better than many others in their ability to form nice roots even in heavy, shallow soils.

Danvers 126 and Danvers Half-Long are most commonly planted.

Miniature carrots – This type of carrot generally includes roots that are harvested before growing too large. While some may grow only to small sizes, others within this category may also grow to form round radish-like roots. These “baby” carrots are great alternatives for home gardeners, as they can easily be planted in containers.

Miniature and round carrot varieties include:

  • Paris Market
  • Babette
  • Thumbelina
  • Little Finger
  • Short ‘n Sweet

1. Deep Purple Hybrid

Feast your eyes on this royal, deep purple carrot. Unlike the ‘Purple Dragon’ variety that I’ll describe later, this cultivar is purple all the way through, and makes an irresistible ornamental display of color in salads, snacks, or dips.

‘Deep Purple’ Hybrid

To make the most of its unique hue, eating it raw is recommended because the color fades slightly when cooked. These grow to 7-8 inches at maturity, with tall fronds that can reach a height of 24 inches. They’re ready to harvest in 75-80 days.

Packages of 1000 seeds are available from Burpee.

2. Imperator 58

What a name – and what a vegetable! This type was a winner of the All-America Selections award for carrots in 1933, and it remains a favorite to this day. A classic heirloom variety, this is an excellent all-rounder.

‘Imperator 58’ Heirloom

The ‘Imperator 58’ is large and very flavorful, maxing out at around 9 inches, and it is much like the common type that you will find in the store. Plant ‘Imperator 58’ seeds in loose soil for best results. You can expect a harvest in about 68 days.

Packets and packages of seeds ranging in size all the way up to a 5-pound sack are available from Eden Brothers.

3. Kaleidoscope

I warned you that I was a sucker for rainbow veggies, and so of course I am a huge fan of this seed blend. It is a mixture of not one, not two, not three, but FIVE beautiful colors.

Kaleidoscope Mix

With names like ‘Atomic Red,’ ‘Bambino,’ ‘Cosmic Purple,’ ‘Solar Yellow,’ and ‘Lunar White,’ you know this seed mix is going to be good.

Packets of 1500 easy-to-grow seeds are available from Burpee. Expect 75-80 days to maturity, with roots maxing out at about 8 inches in length.

4. Little Fingers

‘Little Fingers’ matures earlier than most others, and from sprout to harvest, your roots should be ready to enjoy in only 55 days.

‘Little Fingers’ Heirloom

Don’t be fooled by its size! This mini root may look small, but it is packed full of sweetness and comes with the added bonus that it can be planted very densely and still produce a large harvest. This heirloom is perfect for those growing in small spaces.

This veggie thrives with full sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9, and does best in sandy, well-drained soil.

You can find this variety at True Leaf Market in several package sizes up through 5 pounds.

5. Lunar White

‘Lunar White,’ as the name suggests, produces long, white roots that reach a maximum of about 6 inches in length in 65-80 days.

‘Lunar White’ Heirloom

A descendant of an ancient variety of wild carrot, this sweet and tender heirloom looks like a parsnip, but tastes like the sweet orange root that you know and love.

It likes to grow in sandy, well-drained soil in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-12, and thrives in slightly acidic soil (pH-6-7).

Seeds are available in 1-ounce, 4-ounce, and 1-pound packages from True Leaf Market.

6. Parisian Heirloom

This heirloom variety produces carrots that are round and stumpy rather than long and thin, making it ideal for growing in compacted, heavy, or rocky soil, or for growing in shallow pots.

‘Parisian’ Heirloom

This sun-loving garden crop thrives in full sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9. The best thing about this carrot, aside from its unique shape, tender texture, and sweet taste, is that it matures earlier than most other types, ready to harvest in around 60 days.

Seeds are available in various quantities from True Leaf Market.

7. Purple Dragon

Wow. This is a seriously impressive-looking carrot. A deep, rich purple color with a sunshine orange center, this root vegetable is an absolute treat for the eyes and the taste buds.

‘Purple Dragon’

Another ‘Imperator’ type cultivar, this homegrown wonder would provide an ideal talking point at a dinner party, or just something to brighten up your plate. Colorful veggies are what I live for – I absolutely can’t get enough of them.

‘Purple Dragon’ requires 65-70 days to harvest, with short tops reaching heights of 4-8 inches, and 6-inch roots.

Packages of 1000 seeds are available from Burpee.

8. Red

A beautiful, rich red color, these long, tapered carrots are deliciously sweet. They thrive in sandy, well-drained soils.

‘Red’ Carrot Seed

‘Red’ roots will reach up to 6 inches in length, within 65-80 days after the sprouts start to emerge. This cultivar does best in full sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9.

Seeds are available in 4-ounce or 1-pound packages from True Leaf Market. If stored correctly, carrot seeds may remain viable for up to four years, so purchase a big package to plan in advance for future harvests or share with the neighbors.

9. Short ‘n Sweet

The clue is in the name here. ‘Short ‘n Sweet’ is perfect for growing in smaller pots, or in less-than-ideal soil conditions, such as heavy or poor soil that’s rich in clay or difficult to work.

‘Short ‘n Sweet’

This rich, sweet little root is easy to grow, and packed full of vitamins. ‘Short ‘n Sweet’ is a ‘Chanetay’ type that produces compact 4-inch roots with about 68 days to harvest.

Packages of 3,000 seeds are available from Burpee. Carrot seeds are very tiny, so keep in mind that this means you’ll be getting about 3 grams of seed, not an entire truckload!

10. Solar Yellow

These happy yellow carrots are sure to bring a smile to your face and to those around the table. This cheerful, bright yellow veggie is an ancient heirloom, and as Eden Brothers Nursery puts it, a “perfect example of why some heirlooms stand the test of time.”

‘Solar Yellow’ Heirloom

The opportunity to try out fun heirloom varieties is one of the best things about growing your own veggies. This crunchy, juicy, and sweet carrot is definitely worth a grow!

Narrow, pale yellow roots max out at about 7 inches in length, and are ready to harvest as soon as 60 days after they germinate. This type is best for cool-season planting, and can be grown in sun or partial shade.

Seeds are available from Eden Brothers in various quantities.

11. Tendersweet

Someone was lacking some imagination when they named this variety, so it may not come as a surprise to you that this heirloom dating back to the 1930s is both tender and sweet.


This is a coreless type, making it an ideal contender for juicing and preserving, perfect for those who love to stock up on veggies for canning to make sure you can enjoy them all year round. It also freezes better than other types.

‘Tendersweet’ carrot seeds produce tapered, 7-inch roots in 75 days. This variety thrives with full sun in Zones 3-9, where it does best in sandy, well-drained soil.

You can find ‘Tendersweet’ seeds from True Leaf Market.

12. Thumbelina

Another All-America Selections winner that received the honor in 1992, this crunchy heirloom delight doesn’t need peeling – it’s ready to go straight away.

‘Thumbelina’ Heirloom

A small variety that produces round roots 1-2 inches in diameter, its size makes it a great choice for anyone growing in heavy or shallow soils, or growing in containers.

Seeds are available in a variety of quantities from a packet to 1-pound sack from Eden Brothers.

13. Touchon

This heirloom variety is a ‘Nantes’-type carrot that’s sweet and tender, and quick to mature. Perfect for use in salads, ‘Touchon’ is known for being low in fiber.


This type grows to 6 inches in length in about 65 days.

Seeds in packets of 3,500 are available from Burpee.

Go Crazy for Carrots

With all of these beautiful carrot varieties on offer, we are spoilt (car)rotten for choice, so there’s no reason not to include them either in pots or in your veggie patch.

Do you have any experience of growing these carrot cultivars in your garden? Let me know how you’ve gotten on in the comments below!


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Carrots are root vegetables that belong to the Apiaceae family and are close relatives to parsley, celery, fennel, and cumin. They originated from Afghanistan and were originally purple and white in color.

They were introduced to Europe in the 14th century. The orange-colored variety originated in the Netherlands which produced them through selective breeding. The pigment beta-carotene produces the orange color and was first discovered in carrots.

The world produces 35 million tons of carrots every year with China as the world’s leading producer.

Carrots Nutrition Facts Chart

Now let’s jump into your carrot options.

Basic Types of Carrots

Chantenay Carrot Varieties

Unlike many other types of carrots, the Chantenay carrot is short and stout, getting to not much more than six inches in length. They can get up to three inches in diameter and their cone shape makes them perfect for gardeners who have rocky or heavy soil. They are best when you harvest them at around six to seven inches because the older ones can become a little woody in the core and won’t taste as good as newer ones do.

Danvers Carrot Varieties

Developed in Danvers, Massachusetts, hence the name, these carrots are long and skinny and taper to a point. They are typically orange in color but can be other colors as well and they are tolerant even of poor soil. These are medium-sized carrots that are very flavorful and they are some of the easiest vegetables to grow, making them perfect for beginning gardeners. In the past, they came in colors that include purple, white, yellow, and red and they have a rich color and flavor.

Imperator Carrot Varieties

When you think of carrots, you are likely thinking about the Imperator carrots because they are the typical long carrots that you usually find in your neighborhood grocery store. If you have soil that is rocky or heavy, you should choose a shorter variety of carrot, although the ideal growing environment for these types of carrots is a light, sandy loam soil. In addition, you need at least a foot of space to plant and grow the Imperator carrot; otherwise, they are very simple to grow.

Mini Carrot Varieties

Also called radish-style carrots, these vegetables are made to grow in shallow root zones and are always harvested when they are very small. If you’re looking for the perfect carrot to grow in containers, this is definitely one to consider. They can even grow well in rocky or heavy soils.

Nantes Carrot Varieties

When it comes to growing carrots at home, the Nantes carrots are the easiest to grow. They are crisp and sweet. They get up to seven inches in length and have blunt tips. These types of carrots do better when the soil is rocky and heavy because they do not twist and fork as other types of carrots do. If you’re looking for carrots that are tasty and easy to grow in your home, this one should definitely be considered.

Specific Types of Carrots

These types of carrots include the following:

Caracas carrots

These carrots are quite popular with gourmet grocers and they are a type of baby carrot that is deep orange in color, uniform in shape, and absolutely delicious. They usually only get to about four inches in length.

Hercules carrots

With the typical broad shoulders found in the Chantenay carrots, the Hercules carrots can be harvested in roughly 65 days and can even grow well in soils that other carrots cannot grow successfully in, such as rocky or clay soils.

Oxheart carrots

These carrots can be harvested in three months and they grow up to six inches in length. They are a broad, heart-shaped carrot that even grows well in sandy soils and they are also an heirloom variety that is sometimes hard to find.

Red-cored carrots

These carrots can be harvested in roughly 70 days and get up to seven inches in length. You can grow them in heavy soils and they don’t lose their sweetness when you store them.

Royal Chantenay carrots

You can harvest these carrots in roughly 70 days and they grow up to five inches in length. They are a uniform shape that is easy to harvest regardless of your soil type and they have a very sweet flavor as well.

This is the most common variety of the Danvers carrot:

Yellowstone carrot

This is a very versatile carrot that matures in roughly 70 days. It can get up to nine inches long and it is a beautiful shade of lemon-yellow throughout the carrot.

Imperator carrots include these:

Atomic Red carrots

These carrots can be harvested in roughly 70 days and are slim and tapered with roots that can get as long as 11 inches. They are best when cooked and they keep their red color even after they are cooked.

Autumn King carrots

Maturing in roughly 70 days, these carrots can get up to 12 inches in length and are very tasty.

Candysnax carrots

With a yummy flavor and a snappy texture, these carrots are long and slender and can grow as long as 12 inches. They are sweet as sugar and ready to be harvested in 65 days.

Nutri-Red carrots

This carrot is filled with lycopene, which is great for your eyesight, and it can grow up to nine inches in length. It is salmon-red in color and intensifies whenever it is cooked.

Purple Haze carrots

Maturing in roughly 70 days, these carrots have a sweet flavor and a beautiful deep purple color. They get up to eight inches long, have bright orange centers, and look fantastic when served and eaten raw.

Red Samurai carrots

As its name suggests, this carrot is bright red in color and looks just as good as it tastes. It has a bold, sweet taste and can even retain its color when it is steamed.

Sugarsnax 54 carrots

These are extremely tasty and very nutritious. They have a very dark orange color and get up to nine inches long. They are a hybrid variety that can be harvested in roughly 68 days.

Mini-carrot varieties include the following:

Babette carrots

Although sometimes allowed to grow larger, these carrots are usually harvested at no more than four inches in length. Because of their size, they are usually served whole, particularly at finer restaurants and diners.

Mignon carrots

A little longer than other mini carrots, they get up to five inches long and are perfect for snacking and for planting in a children’s garden. They are also as tasty as they are adorable!

Romeo carrots

These carrots are normally one to two inches long and they are the size and shape of small beets. They have a very rich flavor and are attractive as well.

Here are some of the most popular and common types of Nantes carrots:

Baltimore carrots

At a length of six inches and a bright orange, these carrots are perfect for eating raw, cooking, and juicing.

Bolero carrots

These carrots are ready to be harvested in 75 days and get up to seven inches long. They taste sweet and keep that sweetness even when stored.

Cosmic Purple carrots

Cosmic Purple carrots get up to seven inches long and do not lose their color when they are cooked. They are violet on the outside and a beautiful shade of orange on the inside. They mature in roughly 73 days.

Merida carrots

These types of carrots are very sweet and need to be covered with mulch or straw if you live in a very cold area. They get up to eight inches long and should be planted in September or October.

Mokum carrots

These carrots can be harvested in less than two months and they are very sweet and very high in Vitamin A. They also have dark green tops and get up to eight inches in length.

Napa carrots

These carrots can get up to eight inches long and have a deep orange color and a very sweet, crisp taste. They also do well even in heavy soils.

Napoli carrots

These bright orange carrots can get up to eight inches in length and mature in less than two months. They have a fine texture and are crunchy and juicy, and they produce smooth, uniform vegetables every time.

Nectar carrots

These carrots are top-rated when it comes to their yield, vigor, storability, and taste. They are cigar-shaped carrots that get up to eight inches long and have a sweet, tender flesh.

Nelson carrots

Nelson carrots mature in a little under two months and get up to seven inches in length. They are sweet, do very well in heavy soils, and are a bright orange color.

Parano carrots

Parano carrots are very versatile and can be eaten raw, juiced, or cooked. They mature in roughly 65 days.

Purple Dragon carrots

Purple Dragon carrots are large, getting up to 10 inches in length, and they have purple skin and a bright orange core. When you cook them, their color fades but they are extremely nutritious.

Rodelika carrots

A very sweet-tasting carrot, they are often used to make carrot juice and they can get up to eight inches in length. Maturing in roughly 78 days, the Rodelika carrots are large and yield a large crop every season.

Romance carrots

Romance carrots are both beautiful and tasty and they can be harvested in roughly 75 days. They are bright orange in color and get up to six inches long. They are also crunchy and sweet so they are perfect for eating raw.

Scarlet carrots

These are sweet and very versatile carrots that can get up to eight inches in length. They are perfect for storing and for eating fresh.

Touchon carrots

Touchon carrots mature in roughly 70 days and can get up to eight inches long. They can be harvested regardless of what size they are and they always have a sweet taste regardless of when you eat them.

White Satin carrots

As its name implies, this type of carrot is white in color and grows to about eight inches long. They are crisp and mature in 70 days.

Yaya carrots

Yaya carrots are similar to Nelson carrots and mature in roughly 60 days. They are perfect for sowing in the fall and are a little less sweet than the Nelson variety.

Hybrid Types of Carrots

Hybrid carrots are those that typically do not fit into any other category because they are a mix of two or more different types of carrots. Below are some of the most well-known and popular hybrid carrots.

Giants of Colmar carrots

These carrots are a deep red-orange color and have very hefty and broad roots. They are sweet and delicious and they can be eaten right out of the garden even in the dead of winter.

Kuroda Applesina carrots

These are very large carrots, getting up to eight inches long and two inches across, and they can easily weigh half a pound each. They are crunchy and juicy and they are smooth and perfect for snacking any time.

Purple 68 carrots

With beautiful leaves and color throughout the vegetable, this carrot is extremely high in antioxidants. Perfect for your cool-weather diet, the Purple 68 carrot is mild and sweet, making it perfect for both cooking and eating raw.

Purple Sun carrots

These carrots mature in roughly three months and have a strong purple color throughout. It is also an extremely nutritious type of carrot and it is just as attractive as it is tasty.

Purplesnax carrots

With a mellow and sweet flavor, this carrot gets up to nine inches long and is purple on the outside but bright gold on the inside. Perfect for eating raw, the Purplesnax carrot can be harvested in 75 days.

Rainbow carrots

Rainbow carrots naturally produce various colors including salmon, yellow, orange, white, and coral. They get up to nine inches in length and are always sweet and tender regardless of their color.

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At the moment there exists a large number of carrot varieties with a great diversity of shapes, colours and culture period. All these varieties are grouped in types, among which we find Danvers, Imperator, Nantes, Touchon, Flakee, Amsterdam, Paris and Chantenay. In Spain, carrots are cultivated in the area of Segovia and Valladolid and in the area of Cádiz.
The number of carrot varieties cultivated increases every day, mainly due to the hybrid varieties, that make up a very diverse group concerning types, shape, colour and vegetative cycle.
Throughout its culture, the root has undergone a long evolution, obtaining varieties free from green tops, with a more or less thick and less fibrous core, and with an intense and regular colouring. The diverse varieties are grouped in different types, among which we find Danvers, Imperator, Nantes, Touchon, Flakee, Amsterdam, Paris and Chantenay .
– Danvers: the carrots of this type have an average to large length, with a wide top and pointed.
– Imperator: it is much more slender in the top area than the previous type and quite longer.
– Nantes: these carrots have a cylindrical, straight and even shape. Both the top and the base are round or blunted. This is the main type consumed fresh.
– Flakee: this type has big, long and conical roots, with vigorous leaves. It is both intended for fresh market and the industry.
– Paris: these carrots are characterized by a blunted end and smaller size.
– Chantenay: they are a bit longer than the Paris type and they are pointed.
The types mainly intended for the industry are Amsterdam and Flakee.
The main varieties cultivated in Spain correspond to the Nantes and Amsterdam types for fresh consumption (washed and bunches) and the Chantenay type for the industry.
In Spain, the varieties are classified according to the producing areas, standing out Segovia, whose production spreads from summer until the end of winter, and Cádiz, Córdoba and Granada, supplying in spring. Among the varieties cultivated in Spain we find Predor, Nanda, Concerto, Nandrin, Valor, Maestro, Tino…

Imperator: Another of the four major sub-types of western carrots, the Imperator carrot is the type most widely cultivated by commercial growers. Imperator carrots are long and slender with a pointed tip, and they have a high sugar content. Cultivars include Sugarsnax Hybrid and Imperator 58.

Nantes: The fourth of the four major sub-types of western carrots, Nantes carrots are shorter and with a more blunt tip than Imperator carrots. Though they have a high sugar content, Nantes carrots are brittle and store less well than other types. Cultivars include Nelson Hybrid, Sweetness Hybrid, and Scarlet Nantes (which are orange, not scarlet).

Purple carrots: Purple carrots range in color from dark violet to reddish purple, with an orange or yellow core. They can have an intensely sweet, sometimes peppery flavor. Cultivars include Cosmic Purple, Purple Haze, and Purple Dragon.

Red carrots: These carrots contain more lycopene than other varieties, and have a pinkish red to purplish red outside layer with a core of pink to orange. One cultivar, called Beta-Sweet, is a cross between a western and an eastern carrot. Red carrots are usually sweeter than regular carrots. Cultivars of red carrots include Beta-Sweet, Atomic Red, and Red Samurai.

Round carrots: About the size and shape of large radishes, these orange carrots taste like regular carrots and are good for growing at home because they do well in most soil types.

White carrots: These thin carrots are of course white in color and have a mild, sweet flavor. Cultivars include Snow White, Lunar White, and White Satin.

Yellow carrots: These can be bred from any of the four western carrot varieties, and are often sweeter than the orange varieties. They are a light yellow all the way through. They have a firm, crunchy texture and have been described as tasting earthy, with notes of celery and parsley. Cultivars include Amarillo, Solar Yellow, Sunlite, and Yellowstone.

Carrot Varieties – What’s the Difference?

There are several types of carrot varieties available to the backyard vegetable gardener. Some folks are surprised to learn that carrots come in different shapes, sizes and colors. Generally speaking, the smaller the carrot, the faster it matures. Larger carrot varieties can take up to 80 days to reach maturity, while smaller varieties can reach their full size in just 60 days. We like to plant a few different varieties and sizes. This gives us a nice mix of different carrots and also extends the harvest season. We also spread out the planting times over 7-10 days. This way, we get a steady supply of carrots over several weeks, instead of getting them all at once.

Here is a list of some different varieties of carrots, along with descriptions and size information:

  • Thumbelina – this unique variety produces round, orange carrots about the size of a golf ball, good for denser soil, ready in 65 days
  • Danvers Half Long – this heirloom variety dates back to the 1880s and features dark orange, cone shaped carrots that are 2 inches thick at the top and 6-8 inches long, ready in 75 days
  • Nantes Half Long – cylindrical carrots reach 6-7 inches long
    and 1 1/2 inches across at the top, red-orange color, ready in 70 days

  • Yellowstone – this variety produces slender, yellow carrots that reach 8-10 inches long, very unique, ready in 70 days
  • Short and Sweet – produces 4 inch long, cylindrical shaped carrots, bright orange, good for containers, ready in 68 days

  • Purple Dragon – features purple exterior and orange core, appears similar to red cabbage when shredded, very unique, ready in 68 days
  • Rainbow Hybrid – this unique variety produces different colored carrots, each being completely orange, yellow or white, ready in 65 days
  • Big Top – Asian variety that produces cone shaped orange carrots that reach 8 inches long, very good for baby carrots, full size carrots are ready in 80 days
    • Nelson – produces deep orange, cylinder
      shaped carrots that reach 7 inches long, classic carrot, ready in 60 days

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