celery plant (Apium graveolens) is a hardy biennial, occasionally
annual, widely cultivated for its fleshy leafstalk , which is used
as a vegetable. Celery seeds, which are produced in the second season,
are commonly used as a flavouring agent. Separate varieties have been
developed for the production of seeds for condiment use and for vegetable
celery. There are also root-producing varieties that are used for
flavouring soups and stews.
a herbaceous annual or biennial plant of the carrot, parsley and caraway
family and is native to southern Europe. In India, it is occurring
wild and also is cultivated in the foothills of northwestern Himalayas
and the outlying hills of Punjab, Himachel Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Roots are succulent, well developed and numerous. Stems are branching,
angular, jointed and reaching a height of 2-4 m. Leaves are oblong,
7-18 cm long, pinnate or trifoliate. It throws up a flower head in
the second year producing masses of fruits. The flowers are white
or greenish white, very small on sessile compound umbels. The fruit
itself is two united carpels which each produce a single seed. The
seed is small, about 1-2 mm in length, oval and greenish brown.
requires a rich moist soil and considerable care, both in starting
the young plants and in bringing them to maturity. Plants may be grown
indoors or in a prepared seedbed and, when large enough, transplanted
to rows 90cm apart and spaced 10-15 cm apart in the row. Seeds may
also be sown directly in the garden early in spring and the plants
later thinned to 2 or 3 per 30 cm.
For seed purposes the plants must be well mulched with straw or litter
to prevent winter killing when there is a severe freezing. In the
first season, the tender leaves and leaf stalks may be used either
fresh or dry for flavouring purposes. The seed umbels form on long
flower stalks that develop during the second season and are harvested
when mature. The root-producing varieties can be handled in the same
manner as parsnips for winter use. The fruiting umbels can be dried
either in the shade or sun and the seeds separated by threshing and
stored in closed containers. The young tender leaves when dried possess
a flavour similar to that of the fresh leaves and stalks.
contains 1.5-3% volatile oil, primarily containing about 60-70 % d-limonene
and 10-20% b-selinene. The oleoresin extracted from celery contains
12-16% volatile oil. The seeds contain apiin, apigenin, caffeic acid
and chlorogenic acid. Several other substances like rutaractin, apiumetin
etc. are also present.
seeds can be used in pickling fish and in salads, salad dressings,
and other dishes where celery flavour is desired. Ground celery is
used in a large variety of products like meat dishes, snack foods,
gravies and sauces to provide a flavour enhancing effect. The leafstalks
and roots give flavour as well as food value to soups and salads.
celery leaves are eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable. Whole seeds
can be added to bread dough or when making cheese biscuits. Celery
salt and celery pepper are both made by grinding the seeds with either
salt or peppercorns in the required proportions.
and other use
seeds have stimulant and carminative properties. Since they have tranquilizing
effect it is prescribed as a decoction in psychiatric, epilepsy like
diseases. The fatty oil from seeds is antispasmodic and nerve stimulant.
The roots possess diuretic property. The oleoresin is also used in
a large variety of food items. The oil from the seeds is used medically
to treat asthma, flatulence and bronchitis.