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Some close relatives of the carrot are still grown for their leaves and seeds, such as parsley, cilantro, coriander, fennel, anise, dill and cumin.
The first mention of the root in classical sources is from the 1st century; The plant is depicted and described in the Eastern Roman Juliana Anicia Codex, a 6th-century AD Constantinopolitan copy of the Greek physician Dioscorides' 1st-century pharmacopoeia of herbs and medicines, De Materia Medica.
When the seed stalk elongates for flowering, the tip of the stem narrows and becomes pointed, and the stem extends upward to become a highly branched inflorescence up to 60–200 cm (20–80 in) tall.
Carrot seeds have been found in Switzerland and Southern Germany dating back to 2000–3000 BC.
A naturally occurring subspecies of the wild carrot was presumably bred selectively over the centuries to reduce bitterness, increase sweetness and minimise the woody core; this process produced the familiar garden vegetable.
A depiction labeled "garden" carrot from the Juliana Anicia Codex, a 6th-century AD Constantinopolitan copy of Dioscorides' 1st-century Greek pharmacopoeia.
itself from Late Latin carōta, from Greek καρωτόν or karōton, originally from the Indo-European root *ker- (horn), due to its horn-like shape.
In Old English, carrots (typically white at the time) were not clearly distinguished from parsnips: the two were collectively called moru or more (from Proto-Indo-European *mork- "edible root", cf. Various languages still use the same word for "carrot" as they do for "root"; e.g. Its wild ancestors probably originated in Persia (regions of which are now Iran and Afghanistan), which remains the centre of diversity for the wild carrot Daucus carota.