Before The 17th Century, Almost All Cultivated Carrots Were Purple
The modern day orange carrot wasn’t cultivated until Dutch growers in the late 16th century took mutant strains of the existing purple carrot and gradually developed them into the orange variety we have today. Before this, almost all carrots were purple with some mutated yellow and white carrots. These mutations were rarely cultivated and lacked the purple pigment anthocyanin.
It is thought that the modern day orange carrot was developed by crossing the mutated yellow and white rooted carrots as well as varieties of wild carrots, which are quite distinct from cultivated varieties.