Celery (Apium graveolens) is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae that has been cultivated as a vegetable since antiquity. Celery has a long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves. Depending on location and cultivar, either its stalks, leaves, or hypocotyl are eaten and used in cooking. Celery seed powder is used as a spice.
Celery is a biennial plant that is primarily grown for its thick stalk. It belongs to the Apiaceae family, which also includes parsley, carrots, and fennel. Celery leaves are pinnate to bipinnate, with rhombic leaflets 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm wide. The flowers are creamy-white, 2-3 mm in diameter, and are produced in dense compound umbels. Modern cultivars have been selected for either solid petioles, leaf stalks, or a large hypocotyl. Wild celery, Apium graveolens var. graveolens, grows up to 1 meter tall and occurs around the globe. In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds. Actually very small fruit, these “seeds” yield a valuable essential oil that is used in the perfume industry. The oil contains the chemical compound apiole. Celery seeds can be used as flavoring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground.