Carrot Varieties and Types

Like many other vegetables, carrot varieties can be divided into early, main-crop, and storage varieties.

Growing Carrots—‘Yaya’ and ‘Purple Dragon’
Growing Carrots—‘Yaya’ and ‘Purple Dragon’
© Steve Masley…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

They also come in several Types that vary in size and shape, as well as a range of colors, from the classic deep orange to purple, white, yellow, and red.

See Growing Carrots for information on how to grow carrots.

The photos below are all from our seed source, Cook's Garden Seeds. Links go to organic varieties from Cook's, when available.

Nantes  |   Imperator  |   Chantenay  |   Mini (Container Carrots)

Nantes Carrot Varieties

Nantes varieties are usually the easiest carrots for home gardeners to grow. They produce sweet, crisp, 6-7” (15-18cm) cylindrical carrots, with blunt tips. Nantes carrots perform better in heavier, rockier soils where other carrot types twist and fork. They’re less likely to form pithy cores when left in the field than Chantenay carrots.

'Scarlet Nantes' Carrots
'Scarlet Nantes' Carrots
Photo from Cook's Garden

'Scarlet Nantes' (F1, 65-75 days) is a sweet, versatile Nantes-type carrot that forms uniform, 6-8" (15-20cm) carrots that are perfect for fresh eating or storage.

Buy 'Scarlet Nantes' Seedsicon

‘Bolero’  (F1, 75 days, resistant to Alternaria Blight and Powdery Mildew) is a high-yielding Nantes-type carrot that stays sweet even in storage. 6-7” (15-18cm) long, with a 1 ½” (4cm) crown. Cylindrical shape.

‘Nelson’  (F1, 58 days) is another early Nantes that produces 6-7” (15-18cm) carrots with a 1” (2.5cm) shoulder. Sweet, uniform, deep orange color. Grows well in heavy soils.

‘Yaya’  (F1, 60 days) is similar to ‘Nelson’, but a little less sweet. Holds well in the ground—good for fall sowing.      Buy 'Yaya' Seedsicon

'Touchon' Carrots
'Touchon' Carrots
Photo from Cook's Garden

‘Napa’  (F1, 63 days, resistant to Alternaria Blight and Powdery Mildew) produces 7-8” (17-20cm) carrots with a 1 ½” (4cm) shoulder, deep orange color, and sweet, crisp taste. Performs well even in heavy soils.

‘Touchon’ (Open Pollinated, French Heirloom, 70 days) is similar to ‘Bolero’, but grows a little larger (8”–20cm). Sweet and tasty even when small, it can be harvested at any size.

Buy 'Touchon' Seedsicon

‘Parano’  (F1, 65 days) is an early Nantes type that produces beautiful, 6-7” (15-18cm) carrots that are great fresh, cooked or juiced.

'Kaleidoscope Mix' Multi-Colored Carrot Seed Blend
'Kaleidoscope Mix' Carrot Blend
Photo from Cook's Garden

‘Kaleidoscope Mix’  (60-70 days) is a multicolor mix of red, purple, yellow, and orange 7-8” (18-20cm) carrots. Contains equal parts of 'Atomic Red', 'Bambino', 'Cosmic Purple', 'Lunar White', and 'Solar Yellow' seeds. A Cook's Garden customer favorite.

Buy 'Kaleidoscope Mix' Seedsicon

‘White Satin’  (F1, 70 days) produces crisp, white, 8” (20cm) carrots. A Nantes variety that adds a different color to the carrot rainbow.

‘Merida’  (F1, 240 days) is a storage-type Nantes variety bred for overwintering in the ground. Plant in September or October. Can be grown with no cover in Zones 6 and up. Cover with 6-12” (15-30cm) of straw in colder zones. Sweet, 7-8” (17-20cm) carrots with 1 ½” (4cm) shoulders.

‘Purple Dragon’  (F1, 70 days) produces 8-10” (20-25cm), tapered carrots with purple skin and a bright orange core. A throwback to the original carrot. Color fades when cooked. A phytochemical gold mine for the body.

Buy 'Purple Dragon' Seedsicon

'Kaleidoscope Mix' Multi-Colored Carrot Seed Blend
'Cook's Custom' Carrot Blend
Photo from Cook's Garden

‘Cosmic Purple’  (F1, 73 days) produces 7” (17cm) carrots that are violet on the outside and orange in the middle. Unlike most purple carrots, this one retains some color on cooking.   Buy 'Cosmic Purple' Seedsicon

‘Cook's Custom Blend’  (70-75 days) is a great blend of four carrot varieties with different maturities, flavor, and disease resistance. It includes equal parts 'Kuroda' (high-yielding, great for juicing), 'Rothild' (rich in beta carotene), 'Touchon', a tasty French heirloom that overwinters well, and 'Napoli' the famous sugar carrot popularized by Eliot Coleman for fall/winter gardening.

Buy 'Cook's Custom Blend' Seedsicon

Imperator Carrot Varieties

'Kaleidoscope Mix' Multi-Colored Carrot Seed Blend
'Cosmic Red' Carrots
Photo from Cook's Garden

Imperator carrots are the classic long, tapered roots you see in stores. Soil has to be prepared to fine tilth at least a foot deep to grow Imperator carrots.

A light, sandy loam soil is ideal for growing Imperator carrots. Choose shorter varieties if your soil is heavy or rocky.

‘Cosmic Red’  (65-75 days) has slim, tapered roots that reach 11” (30cm). Best when cooked. Retains its red color after cooking.

Buy 'Cosmic Red' Seedsicon

‘Sugarsnax 54’  (F1, 68 days, resistant to Alternaria and Cercospora Blights, Pythium) produces sweet, 9” (23cm) tapered carrots with a dark orange color. Rich in beta-carotene.

Chantenay Carrot Varieties

'Kaleidoscope Mix' Multi-Colored Carrot Seed Blend
'Red-Cored Chantenay' Carrots
Photo from Cook's Garden

Chantenay carrots are short and stout, with broad 1 ½- 3” (4-8cm) crowns tapering quickly to a rounded point 6” (15cm) away. Before Nantes varieties were developed, these cone-shaped carrots were the only choice for gardeners growing carrots in heavy or rocky soils. They’re still a favorite among home gardeners, but older carrots develop a woody core, so harvest Chantenay carrots at 6-7” (15-18cm).

‘Red-Cored Chantenay’ (F1, 60-70 days) produces 7” (18cm), deep-orange carrots with 2” (5cm) shoulders and the classic cone shape of Chantaney carrots. Grows well in heavy soils, stays sweet in storage.

Buy 'Red-Cored Chantenay' Seedsicon

‘Hercules’  (F1, 65 days) produces 6-7” (15-18cm) carrots with broad shoulders. Good for rocky of clay soils where other carrots perform poorly.

Mini Carrot Varieties

“Mini” and Radish-style carrots are bred to be grown in shallow root zones and harvested small. These are the best varieties for growing carrots in containers. They also perform well in heavy or rocky soils.

“Mini” Carrot Varieties (Click IMAGE to Enlarge)
Growing Carrots—‘Babette’
Growing Carrots—‘Babette’, Size
Growing Carrots—‘Babette’
‘Babette’ is a “baby” carrot variety that can be harvested at 3-4” (7-10cm), or allowed to grow larger. Often served whole, with the tops still attached at high-end restaurants.
Growing Carrots—‘Romeo’
Growing Carrots—‘Romeo’, Size
Growing Carrots—‘Romeo’
‘Romeo’ is a radish-style carrot variety that produces 1-2” (2-5cm) spherical carrots the size of small beets. Beautiful in cross-section, with a delicious carroty richness.

Top of Carrot Varieties  |   Alphabetical List of Vegetables

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