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Toxic parts

If the plant is infected with the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[1].

Edible uses


Leaf stems - raw or cooked[2][3][4][5]. A fairly common salad ingredient, celery stems are also used to make soups, stews etc. The winter varieties can be bitter if they are not blanched by excluding light from the stems for at least a few weeks prior to harvesting. Many people find the raw stalks are somewhat indigestible[6].

Leaves - raw or cooked. They are often used as a flavouring in soups etc[7][5][8]. They can also be eaten raw but have a very strong flavour and are probably best as a minor ingredient in a mixed salad. Seed - used as a flavouring for sauces, soups, pickles etc[9][10]. An essential oil from the seed is also used as a flavouring[10].

Root - cooked. There is not much of it but it can be cut up and added to soups[K].

Unknown part


Material uses

The growing plant is an insect repellent, it repels the cabbage white butterfly so is a good companion for brassicas[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Although not as medicinally active as wild celery, the cultivated forms of celery also have the same medicinal properties and, when used as an item of the diet, will have a similar effect upon the body. These medicinal uses are as follows:-

Wild celery is an aromatic bitter tonic herb that reduces blood pressure, relieves indigestion, stimulates the uterus and is anti-inflammatory[12]. The ripe seeds, herb and root are aperient, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, nervine, stimulant and tonic[13][14][5][15]. Wild celery is said to be useful in cases of hysteria, promoting restfulness and sleep and diffusing through the system a mild sustaining influence[13]. The herb should not be prescribed for pregnant women[12]. Seeds purchased for cultivation purposes are often dressed with a fungicide, they should not be used for medicinal purposes[12]. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried[12]. The whole plant is harvested when fruiting and is usually liquidized to extract the juice[12]. The seeds are harvested as they ripen and are dried for later use[12]. An essential oil obtained from the plant has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Some of its constituents have antispasmodic, sedative and anticonvulsant actions. It has been shown to be of value in treating high blood pressure[16].

A homeopathic remedy is made from the herb[7]. It is used in treating rheumatism and kidney complaints[7].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


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Seed - germination can be erratic and the seed is best surface sow February in a greenhouse. The maincrop can be sown as late as mid-April. Outdoor sown seed rarely germinates satisfactorily[17]. Germinates in 2 - 3 weeks at 15°c. Plant out in May. The seed can harbour certain diseases of celery, it is usually treated by seed companies before being sold but if you save your own seed you should make sure that only seed from healthy plants is used[2].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Apium graveolens dulce. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a rich light moist soil with some shade in summer[2][4][18][19]. Prefers a sunny position and a pH between 6.6 and 6.8[17]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.2 to 8.3.

Plants grow best in a climate with a mean temperature in the range 16 - 21°c, leaf growth is poor at higher temperatures, low temperatures can induce the plant to run to seed prematurely. Plants with 5 or more true leaves will flower following exposure to temperatures between 5 - 10°c for 10 days or more[17]. Celery is commonly cultivated in many regions of the world, mainly for its edible leaf stalks. There are many named varieties and these can supply fresh stalks from late summer to spring[8][10]. There are two basic types of celery. Those grown for summer and autumn harvesting are called 'self-blanching' - the stems do not need to be blanched in order to be eaten, though they are usually grown quite closely together which tends to exclude quite a bit of light. Those cultivars harvested in the winter and spring tend to have bitter-tasting stems unless these are blanched by excluding light.

A good companion for leeks, tomatoes, French beans and brassicas[20][21].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Apium graveolens dulce. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Apium graveolens dulce.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Apium graveolens dulce
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    4. ? Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (1977-00-00)
    5. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    7. ? Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    8. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    10. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    12. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    13. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    16. ? 16.016.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    17. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    18. ? Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    19. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)
    20. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    21. ? Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)