Celery (Apium graveolens) is a plant used around the world as a vegetable, either for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk) or the fleshy root. In temperate countries, celery is grown for its seeds. Celery seeds can be used as flavoring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt (used as a seasoning, in cocktail and hot dogs). The volatile oil contains in the seeds is used in the pharmaceutical and perfume industries. The seeds also contain an organic compound called apiol.

Celery grows to 1 m tall, producing pinnate to bi-pinnate leaves with rhombic leaflets 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm wide. Creamy-white flowers are borne in dense compound umbels, with each flower 2-3 cm in diameter. Celery seeds are broad ovoid to globos, 1.5-2 mm long and wide.

Celery is a main ingredient in many soups, such as the chicken noodle soup. It is also one of the three major ingredients in Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine, the other two are onions and bell peppers. French mirepoix is made up of celery, onions and carrot, a base for sauces and soups. Celery is widely eaten by guinea pigs, dogs, horses, birds, squirrels, and small rodents.

Celery seeds are taken for arthritis as a blood purifier. The seeds also contain calcium, and are regarded as a good alternative to animal products. Celery is used in weight-loss diets, where it provides low-calorie dietary fibre bulk. Celery also contain androstenone, a steroid found in both male and female sweat and urine.

Celery can caused allergic reaction in some individual, causing potential fatal anaphylactic shock. Celery root, commonly eaten as celeriac or put into drinks, contains more allergen than the stalk, with the seeds having the highest levels of allergen content. Celery allergy is most prevalent in Central Europe.

Apium graveolens var. rapaceum 'Dolvi'Apium graveolens var. rapaceum 'Dolvi'
Author: Rasbak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Inflorescence of celeryInflorescence of celery
Author: H. Zell (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Celery rootCelery root
Author: DocteurCosmos (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Author: Popolon (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Celery seedsCelery seeds
Author: Howcheng (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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