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Gerard's Herbal

Gerard's Herbal - CHAP. 407. Of Carrots.

CHAP. 407. Of Carrots.


Fig. 1472. Yellow Carrot (1)

Fig. 1473. Red Carrot (2)


The Description.

            1. The leaves of the garden Carrots are of a deep green colour, composed of many fine Fennel-like leaves, very notably cut or jagged, among which riseth up a stalk straight and round, four cubits high, somewhat hairy and hollow, having at the top round spoked tufts, in which do grow little white flowers: in their places cometh the seed, rough and hairy, of a sweet smell when it is rubbed. The root is long, thick and single, of a fair yellow colour, pleasant to be eaten, and very sweet in taste.

            2. There is another kind hereof like to the former in all parts and differeth from it only in the colour of the root, which in this is not yellow, but of a blackish red colour.

The Place.

            These Carrots are sown in the fields, and in gardens where other pot herbs are: they require a loose and well manured soil.

The Time.

            They are to be sown in April; they bring forth their flowers and seed the year after they be sown.

The Names.

            The plant which is termed in Latin by the name of Pastinaca latiori folii, or the Garden Parsnip, is described of the old writers by another name: this Carrot is called in Latin likewise, Pastinaca sativa, but with this addition tenuifolia, that it may differ from the garden Parsnip with broad leaves, and white roots. Theophrastus in the ninth book of his history of plants nameth this Staphylinus, or Carrot, Daukos, and writeth that it groweth in Arcadia, and saith that the best is found in Spartensi Achaia, but doubtless he meant that Daucus which we call cretensis, that may be numbered among the Carrots: Galen in his book Of the Faculties of Simple Medicines doth also make it to be Daucus, but yet not simply Daucus; for he addeth also Staphilinus or Pastinaca: in High Dutch it is called Geel ruben: in Low Dutch, Geel Peen, Geel Pooten and Geel Worten: in French, Carrotte, and Racine iaulne: in Italian, Pastinaca: in Spanish, Canahoria: in English, Yellow Carrots: the other is called Red Carrot, and Black Carrot.

The Temperature and Virtues.

            A. The root of the Yellow Carrot is most commonly boiled with fat flesh and eaten: it is temperately hot and something moist. The nourishment which cometh thereof is not much, and not very good: it is something windy, but not so much as be the Turnips, and doth not so soon as they pass through the body.

            B. The Red Carrot is of like faculty with the yellow. The seed of them both is hot and dry, it breaketh and consumeth windiness, provoketh urine, as doth that of the wild Carrot.

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