Apium


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Related to Apium: Apium graveolens

Apium

 

(celery), a genus of annual, biennial, and perennial plants of the family Umbelliferae. There are about 20 species, distributed in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. The plants grow on moist soils along seas and rivers. Cultivated celery (A. graveolens) is an aromatic biennial or, less commonly, annual vegetable plant. In the first season the plant forms roots and a rosette of leaves; in the second season it forms stems and inflorescences (compound umbels) with small white flowers. There are three varieties: leaf celery, stalk celery, and celeriac.

Seedlings, which are raised in hotbeds, are set out in fertile lowland soils, frequently cultivated peat bogs, or loamy soils with high humus content. The average yield is 200–250 quintals per hectare. Celery is cultivated in Europe, Asia (India and Japan), North and Central America, and North Africa. In the USSR it is grown in the European RSFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, the Baltic Region, and Middle Asia.

Celery leaves are rich in ascorbic acid (up to 108 mg per 100 g of raw matter) and carotene (10–12 mg). The root contains 4.3 percent sugars, as well as salts of potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. All parts of the plant contain thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, and essential oils. The leaves of leaf celery and celeriac, the petioles of stalk celery, and the roots of celeriac are used in cooking and in the canning industry. The essential oils are used in the pharmaceutical industry.

REFERENCES

Markov, V. M. Ovoshchevodstvo. Moscow, 1966.
Spravochnik po ovoshchevodstvu. Leningrad, 1971.

L. I. LEVANDOVSKAIA