Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery (var. dulce) or celeriac (var. rapaceum) depending on whether the petioles (stalks) or roots are eaten.
First attested in English 1664, the word celery derives from the French céleri, in turn from Italian seleri, the plural of selero, which comes from Late Latin selinon, the romanization of the Greek "σέλινον" (selinon), "parsley". The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek se-ri-no, written in Linear B syllabic script.
Celery was described by Carolus Linnaeus in Volume One of his Species Plantarum in 1753.
The closely related Apium bermejoi from the island of Minorca is one of the rarest plants in Europe, with fewer than 100 individuals left.
Apium graveolens is used around the world as a vegetable, either for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk) or the fleshy toproot.
In temperate countries celery is also grown for its seeds. Actually very small fruit, these "seeds" yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. They also contain an organic compound called apiol. Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots. Celery salt is used as a seasoning, in cocktails (notably to enhance the flavour of Bloody Mary cocktails), on the Chicago-style hot dog, and in Old Bay Seasoning.
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