Celery: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information for celery

Celery is a plant in the Apiaceae family, commonly grown as a vegetable. The plant grows to 1 m tall. The leaves are pinnate to bipinnate leaves with rhombic leaflets 3–6 cm long and 2–4 cm broad. The flowers are creamy-white, 2–3 mm diameter, produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5–2 mm long and wide.

common names & nomenclature
First noted in English in 1664, the word "celery" derives from the French céleri, in turn from Italian seleri, the plural of selero, which comes from Latin selinon, from the Greek selinon, "parsley".

Also known as:
Celery seed, Apium graveolens var.dulce

Celery, the lutein-full vegetable
Celery: Where in the World
habitat and range for celery

Celery is native to the Mediterranean. Wild celery was known to the Greeks and Romans. However cultivation of celery only began in Europe in the 17th century.

Celery: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting celery

Celery grows best in a bright spot out of direct sun, with temperatures of 70° to 75°F during the day and about 60°F at night. Provide plenty of water and good drainage and air circulation.

Celery grows best in moist, nutrient-rich soil.

In mild areas, celery grows virtually year-round. Elsewhere, start seeds indoors in January and bed seedlings in early spring after the danger of frost is over. Soak seeds before planting. Germination typically takes about ten days. Transplant when seedlings are about 3 inches high at approximately three months. Space plants about 6 inches apart.

Water copiously. Stalk juiciness depends on how much water the plants receive. Less ideal conditions produce tougher, stringier, more bitter stalks.

Harvest celery seeds when they mature. Celery's primary umbels (flowers) mature first and often shatter before the secondary umbels are dry. It is best to hand harvest the umbels as they mature. The seeds can be separated easily as the umbels are harvested and will be fairly clean. Any remaining dust and debris can be removed by screening or winnowing.

Store dried celery seed in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.