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Apium graveolens

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Apium dulce
  • Apium rapaceum
  • Celeri graveolens
Description

Wild Celery is an erect biennial or perennial herb. It grows up to 1.5 to 3 feet tall. The plant grows erect with ascending stems. The leaves and scent of the plant are much like celery. The flowers are white to greenish-white and appear umbrella-like. Wild Celery is a member of the Apiaceae or Carrot family.

The plant is native to the temperate and Mediterranean areas of North Africa, Europe, and Asia. It is typically found in moist regions with low elevations.

The genus name, Apium, is Latin and means "bees." It was given this name because bees were attracted to the plant. Wild Celery is also known as Smallage. Celery Seed comes from the Wild Celery plant. The remainder of the plant is bitter to taste and inedible.

Wild Celery is grown in temperate climates. The plant prefers full sun, moist, rich, and well-drained soil. It is reproduced by seeds. Areas may become naturalized from self-seeding.

The leaves are green, simple, and pinnatifid, and lobed. The flowers are greenish-white and appear in round clusters. The fruits are tiny, black, ovoid-shaped schizocarp. 

Wild Celery has a strong bitter flavor. It is a parent plant to two other species that include Celery or Apium graveolens var. duce and Celery Root or Apium graveolens var. rapaceum.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Problems: Potential pests include aphids, earwigs, nematodes, celery worms, and slugs. If the soil is not well-drained, root rot may occur. Blight can also be a concern in some areas.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Apium gravelons var. dulce (cultivated variety)
    Celery--eaten raw or cooked
  • Apium graveolens var. rapaceum (cultivated variety)
    Celery Root--cooked in soups or raw on salads
  • Apium graveolens var. secalinum (cultivated variety)
    Smallage--garnish or medicinal usage
Apium gravelons var. dulce (cultivated variety), Apium graveolens var. rapaceum (cultivated variety), Apium graveolens var. secalinum (cultivated variety)
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#biennial#perennials#pollinator plant#pollinator garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Apium gravelons var. dulce (cultivated variety)
    Celery--eaten raw or cooked
  • Apium graveolens var. rapaceum (cultivated variety)
    Celery Root--cooked in soups or raw on salads
  • Apium graveolens var. secalinum (cultivated variety)
    Smallage--garnish or medicinal usage
Apium gravelons var. dulce (cultivated variety), Apium graveolens var. rapaceum (cultivated variety), Apium graveolens var. secalinum (cultivated variety)
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#biennial#perennials#pollinator plant#pollinator garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Apium
    Species:
    graveolens
    Family:
    Apiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wild Celery has both herbal and medicinal properties. It has been cultivated since ancient times. The Romans and Egyptians made garlands from the plant. The Greeks used the plant as a culinary herb. The plant is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Macaronesia to North Africa, Europe to West Himalaya
    Distribution:
    Native: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Morocco, Netherlands, Nova Scotia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sicily, South European Russia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, Yemen, and Yugoslavia; Introduced: USA--AZ, CA, CT, FL, ID, LA, MA, MS, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, WA, and WV; Argentina, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Haiti, Hungry, India, New Zealand, Norway Peru, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam;
    Wildlife Value:
    Wild Celery attracts bees and butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    Celery Seed comes from Wild Celery. The bitter-tasting leaves are inedible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Schizocarp
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are black when ripened. The tiny seeds are ovoid-shaped.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are greenish-white and appear in round clusters in the form of an umbrella. The umbel measures 1/2 tp 1 1/2 inches across with 3-16 rays. There are 7-25 small flowers. Each flower measures about 1 mm in diameter. They flower from May to October.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The basal leaves are oblong to obovate, measure 3 to 7 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide, and three lobed. The margins are crenate or serrate. The upper leaves appear triangular, three lobed, and obovate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The stems are yellowish-green, erect, and have coarse grooves.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Design Feature:
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies