Apium – Celery – Celeriac
There are 20 or so species of perennials and biennials with origins in Europe and temperate Asia, in this genus. Usually grown as an annual in the garden for its stalk or petiole which can be eaten raw or cooked. From fleshy bulbous roots sprouts white umbels flowers 3’ feet tall, fruits are small ribbed elliptical to oval seeds. Trench celery is demanding of soil conditions and requires attention throughout the 9-month growing season. Self-blanching celery is easier to grow but not as hardy and is chosen more by gardeners.
Grow in an open site in fertile soil with plenty of moisture but well-drained, enriched with organic matter or lime acidic soil. Plant after all risk of frost has passed. Essential that both water and fertilizer be given on a regular basis to ensure stalks remain tender and succulent.
Prone to yellowing, leaf blight, slugs, and celery flies.
Apium graveolens – Celery – This Asian and European species grows 3’ feet tall and 12-18” wide and occurs in marshy locations along the coast. This erect strong smelling perennial has finely divided leaves on thick grooved leaf stalks. The lance shaped lobed, leaf segments are ½-2” long. In late summer flowers are held in loose compound umbels.