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Carrot root (Daucus carota)

Carrot root ( Daucus carota )

Euasterids II
Order : Umbelliferae (Apiales)
Family : Umbelliferae (Apiaceae)
Genre : Carrots ( Daucus )
Type : Carrot ( Daucus carota )
Subspecies : carrot
Scientific name
Daucus carota subsp. sativus
( Hoffm. ) Schübl. & G.Martens
One green carrot. Cross sections through the root

The carrot ( Daucus carota subsp. Sativus ), also referred to as a carrot , carrot , Gelbrübe , yellow turnip , carrot , Riebli or root is a known only in cultural form of carrot ( Daucus carota ) within the family of Umbelliferae (Apiaceae). From this vegetable plant that is almost exclusively taproot used.

Name and word origin

The designation carrot or carrot for the plant as well as the beet differs from region to region: In northern and eastern Germany carrots predominate, whereas in southern Germany young beets are called carrots; Varieties with small, spherical roots are known throughout Germany as carrots. In northern Germany, preferably in Lower Saxony and the surrounding area, the term root (in Dutch word ) can also be found on the markets and in everyday language . In Sater Frisian , the carrot is also called wuttel, while the name Räiwe is used more for other types, for example for the Hederich ( Räiwe / Wüülde Räiwe ) or the turnip ( Räiwe / Stäkräiwe ). The term yellow turnip is often used in Baden, Swabian, Franconian and Bavarian , as well as in Saarland and Palatinate, from which Gelleriwe or Gelleriebe in Baden is derived. In Austria, carrots predominate in High German, while common names in German-speaking Switzerland are Rüebli (half-long orange type) and Feldrüebli (yellow turnip).

The linguistic development in Germany is moving towards "carrot" and "carrot".

The term "carrot" is derived (via folk Latin carotta ) as well as the English, French and Italian names from the Latin word carota (and this from the Greek karōtón , plural karōtá "carrots").

The word "carrot" contains the term for root which is also used in other Germanic as well as in Slavic languages ​​and in Greek. The word developed from the old and Middle High German names moraha , morha , mokra, morke , morhe and more from an synonymous Germanic word ( morhōn ) which, like Greek tà brákana , "wild growing vegetables", probably in Indo-European mṛk , "edible root “Is based.

Description and ecology

Double-gold inflorescence from above
Habit of a flowering plant in the second year

Vegetative characteristics

The carrot is a biennial herbaceous plant , but - except for seed production - is only cultivated as an annual. In the first year it forms a basal leaf rosette from double to triple pinnate leaves and a taproot . This thickens in the course of growth and thus becomes a storage organ. In the second year the stem axis elongates, the leaf rosette is dissolved and a branched, leafy, flower-bearing stem emerges .

Reserve substances are stored in the taproot. The taproot consists of the crown (head), the bark (bast), the cork layer , the inner pith (the "wooden part") and adventitious roots emanate from it.


Most of the ingredients are found in the taproot's bark. In breeding , therefore, a high proportion of bark and a small, delicate "piece of wood" has always been aimed at. There is less carotene in the pulp , the central cylinder, which is why it is lighter than the bark, the sucrose content is lower and the nitrate content is higher. Depending on the variety, the beet can be long, half-length, short, cylindrical, circular or conical, each with pointed or blunt ends. Color variants are light or dark red, orange, white and purple. The color depends on the variety, the culture conditions and the weather. The color is due to carotenoids, anthocyanins and chlorophyll .

Nutritional value per 100 g of raw carrots:
Calorific value 109 kJ (26 kcal)
water 88.2 g
protein 0.98 g
carbohydrates 4.8 g
- of which sugar 2.08 g
- fiber 3.63 g
fat 0.2 g
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin B 1 69 µg
Vitamin B 2 53 µg
Vitamin B 6 0.27 mg
vitamin C 500 µg
Vitamin E. 46.5 µg
Calcium 35 mg
iron 3.86 mg
magnesium 13 mg
phosphorus 36 mg
potassium 328 mg
zinc 0.27 mg

Generative characteristics


In the second year, the richly branched stem develops, which carries the inflorescences and reaches heights of up to 150 cm. The flowering period begins in June. In doppeldoldigen inflorescence there are many flowers. The flowers are mostly hermaphroditic and can also be sterile or partially sterile. They are cream in color. Cross-pollination , which is carried out by insects , predominates . The formation of the inflorescences can also be triggered in the first year by a cold stimulus ( vernalization ) of 1 to 10 ° C after the youth phase.

The partial fruits are oblong oval. They are covered with fine hairs on the outside. In Central Europe they ripen between August and September. The thousand grain weight is 0.8 to 1.8 g.

Chromosome number

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 18.


The table on the right shows average values, which can vary greatly depending on the type of cultivation and variety. In addition to the values ​​given, the carotene content (predominantly α- and β-carotene, "provitamin A") is important; it is the highest among all vegetables. Depending on the variety and growing conditions, it is between 5 and 30 mg per 100 g of fresh substance. In addition to the sugar content, the essential oils and fruit acids are responsible for the taste . The latter is dominated by malic acid , followed by citric acid , quinic acid , succinic acid and fumaric acid .


Growing carrots in England
Young carrots on sandy soil

Carrots grow best in deep, stone-free sandy soils or sandy loam soils and on loess with a permeable subsoil. The optimal pH value is between 6.5 and 7.5. The cultivation takes place from the temperate zone to subtropical areas, but the best yields are achieved in cooler areas with average daily temperatures between 16 and 18 ° C. In the crop rotation, a three-year gap to other umbelliferae should be observed, and longer if infested with nematodes .

Those that are fertilized with manure are suitable as previous crops. The reason for this is that the higher the organic matter content in the soil, the better the yield and the yield security of the carrot as well as the content of ingredients. Good combinations in the crop rotation result with field forage plants (with the exception of alfalfa and red clover as hosts for root gall nails), with legumes and cabbage species. With regard to the nitrate content, grain is a good previous crop.

The carrot's nitrogen requirement is very low compared to other vegetables. However, it needs a lot of potassium and is sensitive to calcium. Important micronutrients are magnesium , boron , copper and molybdenum .

Depending on the development time of the carrots and the harvest date, a distinction is made between several cultivation methods:

  • Early carrot cultivation with 70 to 90 days
  • Summer carrots with 110 to 135 days
  • Late carrot cultivation with 170 to 220 days

In the case of fresh carrots, bed cultivation predominates. In areas with high groundwater levels such as the Netherlands, the carrots are grown on dams.

According to their intended use, a distinction is made between carrots without leaves for fresh consumption, for storage and as industrial goods and carrots with leaves that are used as bundles for fresh consumption. Common names are therefore also industrial carrots, lager carrots, washing and cluster carrots for the fresh market. Both industrial carrots and carrots for fresh consumption are now grown on a large scale that has a high degree of mechanization. For mechanized harvesting, for example, chain sieve harvesters can be used, as they are also used for potato harvest.

The carrot has been cultivated intensively since around 1900. There are around 300 varieties across the EU. With the help of hybrid breeding , a heterosis effect could be used, in particular to achieve the balance of the root shape, color and size, to increase the ratio of pulp to bark and to increase the sugar and carotene content. Farmers and gardeners cannot harvest such hybrid seeds themselves, but have to buy them from international seed manufacturers for each sowing.

Diseases and pests

"Iron fatigue" from
carrot fly infestation
Black rot

The carrot check or carrot red leaf virus is caused by two different viruses , the carrot mottle virus causing the yellow color and the carrot red leaf virus causing the red color. The foliage remains in development when infected.

The gray mold rot ( Botrytis cinerea ) occurs as a weak and miraculous agent and can trigger extensive root rot. The black rot ( Alternaria radicina ) gives gray black areas. The white rot ( Sclerotinia sclerotiorum ) forms a lush, cotton-wool-like mycelium, and the carrot blackness ( Alternaria dauci ) causes rot and necrotic bark tissue. It attacks beets and leaves and can lead to significant yield losses. The violet root killer ( Rhizoctonia crocorum ) attacks the lower part of the carrots with a purple mycelium, which rots the infected areas.

Athelia arachnoidea causesrotin its secondary crop form as Rhizoctonia carotae .

Among the animal pests, the carrot fly ( Psila rosae ) used to be the most important, but it is less common today in field cultivation. Root gall nails ( Meloidogyne hapla ) occur particularly in warm summers and lead to short, branched turnips. Möhrenzystenälchen ( Heterodera carotae ) and Ditylenchus dipsaci ( Ditylenchus dipsaci ) occur rarely and only locally. Other animal pests include carrot leaf flea ( Trioza apicalis ), floury carrot aphid ( Semiaphis dahci ), carrot gall mosquito ( Kiefferia pimpinellae ) and several species of moth and caterpillars.

Economical meaning

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, around 40 million tonnes of carrots (including turnips ) were harvested in 2018 .

The following table gives an overview of the 10 largest producers of carrots worldwide, who produced a total of 68.2% of the harvest. (The values ​​for Austria and Switzerland are given for comparison.)

Largest carrot producers (2018)
rank country Quantity
(in t )
1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 17,904,421
2 UzbekistanUzbekistan Uzbekistan 2,185,113
3 United StatesUnited States United States 1,497,670
4th RussiaRussia Russia 1,408,348
5 UkraineUkraine Ukraine 841.840
6th United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 824.731
7th PolandPoland Poland 824.731
8th TurkeyTurkey Turkey 644,367
9 IndonesiaIndonesia Indonesia 636.873
10 GermanyGermany Germany 625.357
46 AustriaAustria Austria 93,841
50 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 73,493
world 39.996.289

In Europe, almost three times as many tomatoes were harvested as carrots in 2018. The largest growing countries in Europe in 2018 were the United Kingdom, Poland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and France. In Switzerland carrots are the most consumed vegetables; In 2017, 7.9 kilos of it were eaten per capita. In Switzerland, carrots are grown on around 1,900 hectares, almost 350 hectares of which are organic .


Carrot juice

The beet of the carrot plant is consumed raw, cooked, as juice or preserved, the preservation takes place as wet , frozen or sour preserves or as a dry product. The leaves of the carrot can also be eaten or used as feed for animals, rabbits in particular like to eat them.

Nutritional physiology

The high content of carotene, vitamin C, potassium and iron should be emphasized from a nutritional point of view. The carrot is particularly important in the diet of toddlers and toddlers as well as in diet cuisine. Carrots are beneficial for the formation of blood and teeth as well as for the natural resistance to diseases. Carrot juice has a regulating effect on gastric juice secretion. Their potassium content has a diuretic effect . Carrots are also used for digestive disorders in small children, the slightly constipating effect is based on the high pectin content and the slightly bacteriostatic essential oils.


Taproot varieties come in different colors

The differently colored carrots come from different tribes of origin: the white ones come from the Mediterranean region, the yellow ones from Afghanistan , as well as the red-violet forms. The cultural form is likely to have emerged from crossing all three forms in their overlapping area in Asia Minor.

Vienna Codex of the
Dioscurides on sheet 313r

The oldest evidence of the use of wild ( Daucus carota L. ) and cultivated (( Daucus carota subsp. Sativus Hoffm.) Schübl. & G. Martens ) carrots comes from ancient Greece and Rome. Around 60 AD, Dioscurides called the wild carrot staphylinos and mentioned its use as a medicinal plant (against ulcers, menstruation-promoting, fruit-killing, against pleurisy, edema and poisonous substances as well as urinary retention). It is more effective than the plants grown in the garden. The illustration in the 6th century edition of Dioscurides is the oldest known illustration. Dioscurides also mentions that the Romans called staphylinos carota and pastinaca . With Roman authors, it is often not clear whether they write of the carrot or the parsnip due to the variety of names and also the Cretan eyelid ("Daucus cretensis") and other umbellifers come into question.

In the 10th century, red-violet and yellow carrots were grown in what is now Iran, and in the 12th century these came to Spain and on to Italy. The red-violet carrot was grown in France and Germany until the 19th century, but the yellow beet had dominated Europe since the 16th century . Even after the orange-colored carotene carrot was established, it was cultivated as a fodder for a long time.

In Central Europe, archaeological evidence of carrot cultivation is difficult because the wild carrot is widespread, especially in meadows and along roadsides. Early written mentions from the 9th to 12th centuries cannot be differentiated with certainty from parsnips, such as in the Capitulare de villis of Charlemagne or in the writings of Hildegard von Bingen . The oldest unequivocal description comes from Albertus Magnus in the 13th century, who called the plant daucus and named its characteristic feature of the darker central flower .

It is often mentioned in the herbal books of the 16th and 17th centuries. For example, Hieronymus Bock calls them Geel in 1539 and raw beets . Joachim Camerarius called the Carota in 1586 "welsch". It should have been a cultivated form that had not long since reached Germany from France or Italy. Carrots came in many different colors, so in 1684 Johann Sigismund Elsholtz named yellow, white, red and black and red carrots.

Orange-colored carrots may have originated in the Netherlands. In any case, the first evidence for this are Dutch paintings from the end of the 17th century: Pieter Aertsen , Fruit and Vegetable Stand , and Nicolaes Maes , A Market Scene in Dordrecht . In the 18th century, carrots in the Netherlands were divided into two groups: long orange-colored (known as Brunswicker in Germany), and smaller, intensely orange-colored horned carrots. The first descriptions of the orange carrots date from the beginning of the 18th century.

Baby carrots have also been on the market since the 1970s; contrary to popular belief, this is not a special breed. Usually baby carrots are shredded, cut into shape, common carrots.


Web links

Commons : Carrot ( Daucus carota )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Carrot as a theme  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikibooks: Recipes with carrots  - learning and teaching materials
Wiktionary: carrot  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: carrot  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Georg Vogel: Handbook of special vegetable growing. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-8001-5285-1 , p. 953.
  2. ^ Manfred A. Fischer , Karl Oswald, Wolfgang Adler: Excursion flora for Austria, Liechtenstein and South Tyrol. 3rd, improved edition. Province of Upper Austria, Biology Center of the Upper Austrian State Museums, Linz 2008, ISBN 978-3-85474-187-9 ; Keywords carrot and carrot. In: Austrian dictionary. 40th edition. Published on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture . öbvhpt, Vienna 2006, ISBN 978-3-209-05511-8 .
  3. ^ Fritz Keller, Jürg Lüthi, Kurt Röthlisberger: 100 vegetables. Verlag Landwirtschaftliche Lehrmittelzentrale, Zollikofen 1986, ISBN 3-906679-01-2 , pp. 130-133.
  4. “The use of 'carrot' and 'carrot' is spreading, while the other terms are slowly disappearing […]. The power of the large supermarket chains has grown more and more over the last few decades compared to regional grocery stores and weekly markets, as has the power of speech. ”Friederike Milbradt: The names of the carrot. In: ZEIT-MAGAZIN , ISSN  2190-9903 , No. 5/2016, February 15, 2016. Category: Map of Germany , accessed on June 16, 2016 (with map of Germany to distribute word usage).
  5. ^ Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th edition. Edited by Walther Mitzka . De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , p. 353 f.
  6. ^ Friedrich Kluge, Alfred Götze: Etymological dictionary of the German language. 1975, p. 484 f.
  7. ^ Siegfried W. Souci, Walther specialist, Heinrich Kraut : The composition of food. Nutritional value tables , Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 3-8047-5038-9 , pp. 772-774.
  8. Daucus carota subsp. sativus at In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  9. Günter Jeromin: Organic chemistry: A practical textbook. 2nd edition, Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 978-3-8171-1732-1 , p. 160; 4th edition (= Edition Harri Deutsch ). Verlag Europa-Lehrmittel Nourney, Vollmer, Haan-Gruiten 2014, ISBN 978-3-8085-5619-1 .
  10. Jürgen Stein, K.-W. Jauch (Hrsg.): Practical manual clinical nutrition and infusion therapy. Volume 2. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2003, ISBN 978-3-642-62625-8 , p. 109 ff.
  11. Georg Vogel: Handbook of special vegetable cultivation. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-8001-5285-1 , p. 958.
  12. Ulrich Sachweh (Ed.): The gardener. Volume 3: Nursery, fruit growing, seed growing, vegetable growing. 2nd edition Ulmer, Stuttgart 1986/1989, ISBN 3-8001-1148-9 , p. 49.
  13. ^ Gerard C. Adams, Bradley R. Kropp: Athelia arachnoidea, the sexual state of Rhizoctonia carotae, a pathogen of carrot in cold storage . In: Mycologia . 88, No. 3, 1996, pp. 459-472. JSTOR 3760886 . doi : 10.2307 / 3760886 .
  14. a b Crops> Carrots and turnips. In: FAO production statistics for 2018., accessed on March 21, 2020 .
  15. a b The popular long-running hit. In: . March 20, 2019, accessed April 21, 2019 .
  16. Harvested production of carrots. In: Eurostat, accessed June 28, 2009.
  17. Georg Vogel: Handbook of special vegetable cultivation. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-8001-5285-1 , pp. 958 f.
  18. - Tamara Reinisch: 10 facts why carrot herbs shouldn't end up in the organic waste bin!
  19. Pedanius Dioscorides: The Vienna Dioscorides: Codex medicus Graecus 1 of the Austrian National Library. Part 2. Commentary by Otto Mazal (= highlights of book art. Volume 8/2). Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, Graz 1999, ISBN 3-201-01725-6 , sheet 312r: Common carrot (carrot, yellow turnip), sheet 313r: carrot. Commentary: p. 24 (text partly in Greek, partly in German).
  20. ^ Wolfgang Schneider : Lexicon for the history of medicines. 7 volumes, Frankfurt am Main 1968–1975, volume 5/2, pp. 17–19 (on wild carrot and garden shape).
  21. Christina Becela-Deller: Ruta graveolens L. A medicinal plant in terms of art and cultural history. (Mathematical and natural scientific dissertation Würzburg 1994) Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1998 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 65). ISBN 3-8260-1667-X , p. 234.
  22. Pedanios Dioscurides. 1st century De Medicinali Materia libri quinque. German translation by Julius Berendes 1902, Book III, Chapter 52 (digitized version )
  23. Gerhard Roßbach, Peter Proff: Cassius-Felix-Interpretationen: Parts I and II. (Medical dissertations, Würzburg 1985) Würzburg 1991 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 37), p. 159 f. and 241.
  24. Werner Dressendörfer: Late medieval medicine taxes of the Munich city doctor Sigmund Gotzkircher from the Grazer Codex 311. A contribution to the early history of the southern German pharmacy. Königshausen and Neumann Würzburg 1978 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 15), p. 209.
  25. Hieronymus Bock: Kreuterbuch. 1539, part I, chapter 147 (digitized version)
  26. ' Kreutterbuch des… Petri Andreae Matthioli … augmented by Ioachimum Camerarium. Frankfurt 1586, Book II, Chapter 33: Von Mören / or yellow turnips (digitized) Chapter 34 Von Carota (digitized)