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APIUM graveolens( Rapaceum Group)
Little known in the United States, celeriac is grown for its rather homely, bulbous, edible "roots". Thought to have originated in northern Europe, it is a variety of celery (Apium graveolens), a widely cultivated biennial native to Europe, Southwest Asia, and North Africa. Celeriac is also known as celery root or knob celery.
Protruding from the soil like a knobby, partially buried baseball, the edible "root" gives rise to long fleshy stalks bearing deep green, incised, compound leaves. The "root" is actually a swollen hypocotyl - the part of the embryonic plant between the true roots and the seed leaves. Plants not harvested their first year produce large umbrella-like clusters (umbels) of small creamy white flowers in spring. The flowers give rise to dry fruits filled with small fragrant seeds. Young plants may flower (or "bolt") if repeatedly exposed to cool nights.
Celeriac grows best in full sun and moist, deep, fertile, humus-rich soil. Too much heat leads to bitter-tasting leaves and roots, as does bolting. In warmer climates plant in late summer or fall. In cooler regions start plants in a warm greenhouse and transplant them outside after nights have warmed. Time from sowing to harvest is 120 to 200 days. The smooth, white, slightly bitter flesh is celery-flavored with sweet hints of parsley. Individual leaf stalks may also be cut and used like celery. Knob celery stores well for long periods and the peeled "root" may be eaten raw, or cooked in soups or stews.
9 - 3
8 - 9
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
12"-36" / 30.5cm - 91.4cm
6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm
Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia
Summer, Fall, Winter
Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable
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