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The roots contain high quantities of alpha- and beta-carotene, and are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6, but the belief that eating carrots improves night vision is a myth put forward by the British in World War II to mislead the enemy about their military capabilities.The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that world production of carrots and turnips (these plants are combined by the FAO) for the calendar year 2013 was 37.2 million tonnes; almost half (~45%) were grown in China.Although a completely xylem-free carrot is not possible, some cultivars have small and deeply pigmented cores; the taproot can appear to lack a core when the colour of the cortex and core are similar in intensity.
Soon after germination, carrot seedlings show a distinct demarcation between taproot and stem: the stem is thicker and lacks lateral roots. The first true leaf appears about 10–15 days after germination.
The first (primary) umbel occurs at the end of the main floral stem; smaller secondary umbels grow from the main branch, and these further branch into third, fourth, and even later-flowering umbels.
A large, primary umbel can contain up to 50 umbellets, each of which may have as many as 50 flowers; subsequent umbels have fewer flowers.
A depiction labeled "garden" carrot from the Juliana Anicia Codex, a 6th-century AD Constantinopolitan copy of Dioscorides' 1st-century Greek pharmacopoeia.
The facing page states that "the root can be cooked and eaten." When they were first cultivated, carrots were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds rather than their roots. sativus) is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow cultivars exist.