Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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celery Apium graveolens, exists in three forms. The original wild plant has thin, hollow green stalks and an abundantly leafy top. It looks much like any other small umbelliferous hedgerow plant, and is sometimes called ‘smallage’ (from ‘small ache’, ache being an old French name for celery). From this two main cultivated types have been bred. The ordinary stem kind (var dulce) has greatly thickened, solid, pale green or white stems. In celeriac (var rapaceum) the base of the stem is enlarged to the size of a medium turnip, while the stem itself is no larger than in the wild form.