A friend sent me this photo from San Francsisco-based Little City Gardens and I couldn’t help but share it. Who knew carrots produced such pretty blooms!?
Caitlyn Galloway, one of Little City Garden‘s co-founders and lead farmers, shared that they seeded the carrot bed in fall, harvested carrots in spring and left the rest in the ground to flower. By early summer, the carrot plants left in the ground formed these beautiful umbel-shaped flowers. And—you guessed it—purple carrots make purple flowers. Caitlyn and her team grew two varieties of carrots: ‘Nelson’ (orange carrots, white flowers) and ‘Purple Haze’ (purple carrots and flowers).
Keep in mind that carrots are a biennial crop that is grown as an annual. The first season, carrots grown from seed produce leaves, stems, and tasty roots. At this point, we usually pull them up while the roots are young and tender. Left in the ground for another season, the plants “bolt.” Stems elongate, flowers bloom, and seeds form. You can’t get a double-whammy and harvest carrots and flowers from the same plant; you’ll have to choose.
Next year, I’d like to grow enough both for carrots and for blooms. The flowers look just as delicate as Queen Anne’s Lace and would be perfect as a filler for summer bouquets of dahlias, cosmos, and zinnias. I love the idea that a blossom this beautiful comes from a vegetable—it’s almost like a reward for those of us who forgot to harvest the carrots in early spring.