Celery has grown in the wild since the times of the ancient Egyptians. The deep green leaves of the wild plant may reach 80cm and the flowering stem bears compound umbles of white-tinged, green flowers. The entire plant, including the tiny brown seeds is very aromatic. The Chinese variety is strongly flavoured with thin stalks that can be dark green to white in colour.

The plant prefers a well drained soil enriched with rotted compost and a sunny but protected position. Grow wild celery from seed in spring, space plants to about 40cm apart. You need to keep the soil moist with regular watering. Harvest leaves from midsummer to autumn (fall) as required. Pick ripe seeds and then dry before freezing them for several days to kill any insect eggs, these can then be stored in an airtight container.

Celery’s tiny edible seeds are aromatic and slightly bitter, tasting of celery. The whole seeds retain their flavour well. Crush as needed and use to complement fish and seafood dishes, pickles and relishes, soups, stews, egg dishes, salad dressings, breads and savoury biscuits.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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