The word “Karpas” derives from the Greek “Karpos” meaning fruit of the soil.  The historical origins of dipping Karpas at the Seder reflect the accepted cuisine of the Greco-Roman symposium.Metaphorically, Karpas, the spring vegetable, represents both the historic birth of Israel out of the womb of Egypt and the rebirth of nature renewed each spring.  According to Philo and Rabbi Joshua the original birthday of nature - The Creation - occurred at Pesach-time, not Rosh Hashanah.Similarly, the Italian name for spring prima-vera and the French printemps preserve the sense of the return to the original “first time” of the world.Spring (old English) is originally applied to the place of origin from which a steam arises.  Later is was applied to the season, the “spring of the year.”

haggadah Section: Karpas
Source: A Different Night Haggadah p. 11