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Apium graveolens rapaceum - (Mill.)Gaudin.

Common Name Celeriac
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards If the plant is infected with the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[65].
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range A cultivated form of garden origin.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Apium graveolens rapaceum Celeriac


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rasbak
Apium graveolens rapaceum Celeriac
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rasbak

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Apium graveolens rapaceum is a BIENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root  Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment

Leaves - used as a flavouring in soups etc[200]. They can be eaten raw but have a very strong flavour[52]. Seed - a flavouring. An essential oil from the seed is also used as a flavouring. Root - raw or cooked[27, 33, 52]. It can be grated and added to salads, baked or added to soups, stews etc[183].

Medicinal Uses

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Aperient  Carminative  Diuretic  Emmenagogue  Galactogogue  Nervine  Stimulant  Tonic


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[238]. The ripe seeds, herb and root are aperient, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, nervine, stimulant and tonic[4, 7, 21, 165]. Wild celery is said to be useful in cases of hysteria, promoting restfulness and sleep and diffusing through the system a mild sustaining influence[4]. The herb should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. Seeds purchased for cultivation purposes are often dressed with a fungicide, they should not be used for medicinal purposes[238]. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried[238]. The whole plant is harvested when fruiting and is usually liquidized to extract the juice[238]. The seeds are harvested as they ripen and are dried for later use[238]. 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[254]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the herb[9]. It is used in treating rheumatism and kidney complaints[9].

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Other Uses

The growing plant is an insect repellent, it repels the cabbage white butterfly so is a good companion for brassicas[20].

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich moist soil and an open sunny situation[1, 27, 33, 52]. Requires abundant moisture in the growing season otherwise the root will be small and tough[1]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. The root is hardy to about -12°c and can be left in the ground over winter, to be harvested as required[200]. Roots can also be stored in boxes of sand or other such material in a cool dry shed[200]. Celeriac is a form of A. graveolens that has been selected for its enlarged edible root. It is occasionally cultivated commercially but more often in the garden or allotment[46, 200], there are some named varieties[183]. Any side-shoots should be removed in order to encourage a larger root[200]. A good companion plant for leeks, tomatoes, French beans and brassicas[18].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow February in a greenhouse. The maincrop can be sown as late as mid-April. 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[1].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Aethusa cynapiumFool's Parsley11
Apium annuum 00
Apium australe 30
Apium filiforme 30
Apium graveolensWild Celery. Ajmod, Ajwain-ka-patta (Indian)33
Apium graveolens dulceCelery42
Apium graveolens secalinumLeaf Celery42
Apium insulare 00
Apium prostratumSea Celery, Prostrate marshwort30
Sapium japonicum 10
Sapium sebiferumVegetable Tallow, Chinese tallow, Popcorn Tree, Chinese Tallow Tree22

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Mill.)Gaudin.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

john jones   Tue Feb 21 2006

i love your article on celeriac i printed it and put it on my wall it was very enlightening N i love u n want your babies

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