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Most gardeners think that a carrot is an annual plant, because it produces the carrot (called a taproot) in the first year, and dies when we pull the carrot from the ground and eat it. However, the carrot grows the taproot not in order to provide food for us, but in order to store energy to power the second year of its life cycle, when it will use it to produce flowers and seeds in order to reproduce itself.
The first year is known as vegetative growth, where the carrot puts all of its energy into producing the storehouse of food (the carrot taproot) that it will need in the second year of its life. And in the second year it goes to seed, meaning that it stops forming the taproot and begins to draw the energy from it to develop the flowers and seeds it needs for reproduction. When this happens the carrot taproot, which is now being drained of its nutrients, becomes tough and woody, becoming inedible to humans. But since humans are smarter than carrots, we harvest the carrot in the first year of its life cycle when the taproot is tasty and edible for us and we do not allow the carrot to go to seed. Biennials live for two years. The first year they produce their vegetable parts that we eat and the second they produce seeds for reproduction.