General Question

delirium's avatar

Why are carrot roots orange?

Asked by delirium (13698points) August 6th, 2008

Are all roots bizarre colors and I just don’t notice? (Should I start digging things up and washing off the roots?)

(My father refuses to answer this.)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Carotene, a pigment that acts as a sort of supplementary light absorber to clorophyll.

delirium's avatar

;) Wasn’t looking for the literal answer, but more the question of what kind of advantage it brought/connected with.

richardhenry's avatar

What good is photo synthesis underground?

simone54's avatar

MOST carrots are orange. I’ve worked with yellow ones, white ones (no not parsnip) black ones (really dark purple), red ones, purple ones and purple/orange ones.

And just in case you wanna know.

Anthoncyanin is the red/purple pigment. Like in beets.

Chlorophyll is the green pigment.

Phlavon is the white pigment.

(sorry if the spelling are off they’re this is off the top of my head)

delirium's avatar

Coooool! I’ve never seen those before!

breedmitch's avatar

I like this picture.

gailcalled's avatar

Beets are roots and:“Varieties come in red, gold, white, and red & white striped called the candy cane variety.”

Have you seen the little blue potatoes (also growns underground)?

Turnips are magenta and white.

Maybe that beauty is more than skin-deep?

simone54's avatar

Also, if you look closely you can tell carrots are related to parsley. The leave look the same, and if you have ever seen a parsley root, it looks like a carrot.

jballou's avatar

They’re also orange because farmers grow what people want. Those are the best tasting, so those sell the most, and thus forms our perception as Carrots being orange- even though many roots that are technically carrots aren’t orange at all. If yellow carrots sold the best, that’s the predominant color you would see in the supermarket.

delirium's avatar

YUM! Okay, now I want to go get all the colors and taste them.

simone54's avatar

I need to retract one of my facts.

I said “Anthoncyanin is the red/purple pigment. Like in beets.”

I am incorrect. Anthocyanin is indeed a red/purple color but it’s not in beets. It’s the red cabbage and blood oranges. (I knew this) What I didn’t know was BEETS have a different pigment called BETALAIN.

gailcalled's avatar

Whatever the scientific name (and I am impressed, Simone) beet juice will stain everything it touches, except stainless steel,

jballou's avatar

Beet juice even stains your internal organs! Purple poop. I’ve seen it.

robmandu's avatar

< < not wanting whatever job jballou has.

jballou's avatar

@robmandu I have a normal job, and beet-loving over-sharing friends.

robmandu's avatar


< < not wanting whatever friends jballou has.

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