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Used extensively as a flavouring in Europe and west Asia, many North Americans may only recognize the sharp, savoury taste of caraway from the use its seeds in rye bread. Caraway reveals its close family ties to carrot through its carrot-like, feathery foliage, and the long taproot it develops in the first year. Like the carrot (also a biennial), the plant stores energy in this root to send up a tall flower stalk in year two, which is followed by seeds for the next generation. These characteristics are also found in parsley, as well as a handful of annual plants like cilantro, cumin, and dill. All of these plants produce umbelliferous flowers that are highly attractive to beneficial garden insects.

Use the delicate foliage to flavour soups and salads, use the seeds to flavour breads and baked goods, and even use the carrot-like tap root as a regular root vegetable.

Open-pollinated seeds.

    • Biennial
    • Easy to grow
    • Open pollinated seeds
    • Height to 75cm (30")



    Carum carvi
    Family: Apiaceae



    Season & Zone

    Season: Cool season biennial
    Exposure: Sun or part-shade
    Zone: Hardy to Zone 4


    Caraway is best sown directly outdoors in early autumn. For spring sowing, direct in the garden is preferred in order not to damage the taproot. Technically caraway seeds can be started in trays, but transplant them early and carefully, before the root is exposed.

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