Caraway is distributed through most of Europe, with the exception of the Mediterranean region. The only species that is cultivated is Carum carvi, its fruits being used in many ways in cooking and its essential oils in the preparation of certain medicines and liqueurs. All other European species of Carum generally have smaller fruits; some grow on rocks in the mountains, chiefly in the Balkans, Italian Alps and Apennines.
It is widely established as a cultivated plant. The Netherlands, Poland and Germany are the top caraway producers. Finland supplies about 28% (2011) of the world’s caraway production from some 1500 farms, the high output occurring possibly from its favorable climate and latitudes, which ensure long summer hours of sunlight.