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.

Nantes  |   Imperator  |   Chantenay  |   Mini (Container Carrots)

Organic seeds are, by definition, non-GMO. Most varieties featured here are organic, but some varieties are only available as non-organic seed. Don't let this prevent you from trying a variety that looks interesting.

NOP (National Organic Program) guidelines allow the use of non-organic (but not GMO) seeds when organic seeds for that variety are not available. The way the plants are grown (without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides) is the primary determinant of whether they're grown organically.

Links to buy seeds go to seed companies that offer that variety. We are affiliates of Seeds Now. We receive a commission on seed orders you place to this company (the commission comes from the company, so you pay the same whether you click on our link or order directly from the company).

Commissions help pay for maintaining and updating this web site. Links to other seed companies are provided as a service, we receive no commission from them. Links open in new windows.

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 Courtesy Burpee Seeds

'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' Seeds (Burpee Seeds)

‘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' Seeds (Burpee Seeds)

'Touchon' Carrots
'Touchon' Carrots
Photo Courtesy Burpee Seeds

‘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' Seeds (Burpee Seeds)

‘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 Courtesy Burpee Seeds

‘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 Burpee Seeds customer favorite.

Buy 'Kaleidoscope Mix' Seeds (Burpee Seeds)

‘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' Seeds (Burpee Seeds)

‘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' Seeds (Baker Creek Seeds)

Imperator Carrot Varieties

Imperator Carrot Varieties—'Autumn King'
'Autumn King' Carrots
Photo Courtesy Seeds Now

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.

‘Autumn King’  (70 days) produces long, 10-12" (25-30 cm) roots.   :Buy 'Autumn King' Seeds (Seeds Now)

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

Buy 'Atomic Red' Seeds (Baker Creek Seeds)

Chantenay Carrot Varieties

'Kaleidoscope Mix' Multi-Colored Carrot Seed Blend
'Red-Cored Chantenay' Carrots
Photo Courtesy Burpee Seeds

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' Seeds (Burpee Seeds)

‘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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