Are There Yellow Carrots?

Yellow carrots date back to the 900s and were the original color of carrots along with purple.

Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Purple and yellow carrots date back before the 900s and where thought to be first cultivated in Afghanistan and the surrounding area. Historical documents note that purple and yellow carrots were also in use in Central Asia, Western Europe and then England by the 11th to 15th centuries. By the 16th century, orange and white carrots made their way to the United States, but not their former colorful cousins. During that century, Dutch breeders begin crossing red and yellow carrots to create a hybrid resulting in the orange carrot that is highly grown and distributed in North America today and know by all.

The major pigment that is found in yellow carrots is xanthophyll, which gives the carrot this bright sunshine color. Xanthophyll is known for helping to develop and retaining healthy eye sight. It is also said to help prevent lung and other types of cancers. Xanthophyll is similar to beta-carotene, which give other carrots their pronounced orange color. Each different color of carrot has health properties that are beneficial based on their color:

Root Vegetables: Carrots, Beets, Parsnips

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Carrot ‘Parmex’

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Carrot 'Infinity’ F1

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Carrot ‘Purple Haze’ F1

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening

Carrot 'Bangor’ F1

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Carrot ‘Flyaway’ F1

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Carrot ‘Carson’ F1

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Beet ‘Boltardy’

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Beet ‘Pablo’ F1

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Beet ‘Chioggia Pink’

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Beet ‘Forono’

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Parsnip ‘Gladiator’ F1

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Parsnip ‘Tender and True’

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Purple – high in anthocyanins which acts as a powerful antioxidants as well as high in vitamins A, B, C and E. Helping to prevent stokes and lower cholesterol

Red – high in lycopene (like tomatoes) which is another type of carotene which protect the body against heart disease and other cancers

There are not many straight yellow seed mixes available on the market, but researching found that there are three that are readily available:

‘Solar Yellow’ – It seems to be the brightest yellow variety of the bunch. With a harvest time of 60 days after planting, gardeners will have buttery, yellow carrots to share with friends and family. This is a Danver-type of carrot that reaches about 6 to 7 inches in length, meaning that it is best suited for in-ground plantings.

‘Yellowstone’ – Harvesting 85 days after planting, will give you sweet, crisp pale yellow carrots. Even those in colder climates were able to sow a fall plantings for winter harvest. This Imperator-type taproot reaches about 9 inches in length and is uniform in size. 

‘Jaune Obtuse Du Doubs’ – Originally produced in 1894 as a carrot grown for livestock. This bright, lemon yellow (that looks more white in photos) is delicious and sweet. Its flavor is said hard to find in modern day orange carrots. Foodies, chefs and gardeners alike are swooning over this variety that was “for the cows”. 

Try your green thumb at some carrot mixes that include all the colors available. There are several different mixes to pick from, but here are a few of our favorites:

‘Kaliescope Mix’ – This seed packs comes loaded with a beautiful mix of carrots and will result in a harvest of every color that there is to offer. The mix includes ‘Atomic Red', ‘Bambino’, ‘Cosmic Purple’, ‘Lunar White’ and ‘Solar Yellow’. Can you imagine it! As you are harvested your carrots in your garden during the summer it will be as colorful as a rainbow. 

‘Rainbow Mix’ – This mix is the same as above, but just called by a different name. However, it has the 5 same carrot varieties as listed above in the ‘Kaliescope Mix’. 

‘Carnival Blend’ – Beautiful blend of carrots giving the gardener an assortment of colors to harvest. All of these mixes are really ideal for kids who don’t necessary like eating their vegetables. 

Eating your veggies can be a colorful and fun experience.

Next Up

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The first carrots to be recorded historically into cultivation were purple carrots. Improvements in time have led to purple carrots that look very black in color.

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