the common horse chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum) is native only to a small area in the balkans, but widely cultivated. we used to build people and animals from conkers and tooth picks when i was small. we did not play conkers with them. they're slightly poisonous, enough to make one sick to one's stomach -- yes, i do know that from youthfully ignorant experience (deer eat them so what could possibly go wrong?). great shade trees, beautiful in bloom.
so, apparently the first domesticated carrots date 5000 years back, to afghanistan. and they were purple. orange didn't come into favour until the 17th century in the netherlands (maybe the House of Orange had something to do with that).
our first week at the farmer's market, we bought a small bunch of these. they embrace the power of "and", *grin*. the vendor didn't know anything other than that they were "heritage carrots". a bit of googling leads me to believe they're probably Purple Dragon. funny; a dragon yesterday, and today one too. (i am easily amused.) purple carrots allegedly are even better for you than the orange ones, they contain anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant.
the paramour is at siggraph. i need to decide soon whether i want to go too. despite feeling better i'm not feeling particularly social, and masses of people are not an attractant, so i probably won't go. that's good too, because i've been productive and can use the time to get some things done that totally fell through the cracks last year.