Botanical name: Apium graveolens Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Celery is a vegetable plant which grows to 3 ft tall. The leaves are pinnate to bipinnate with rhombic leaflets 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm broad. Leaves look very similar to those of Coriander. The flowers are creamy-white, 2-3 mm diameter, produced in dense compound umbels, typical of carrot family. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5-2 mm long and wide. Celery is used around the world as a vegetable, either for the crisp leaf stalk or fleshy taproot. Celery is known in the Mediterranean since millennia. Homeros mentions them in his epics; it was considered a holy plant in the classical period of Greece. It is less known, though, that celery leaves were worn by the winners of the Nemean Games, similar to the use of bay leaves at the Olympic and the Pythian Games. In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds, which yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries.
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