Apium graveolens var rapaceum



A variety of normal celery, that develops a thick tuberous base that can be eaten either cooked, or raw as a salad vegetable. This variety develops less foliage than normal celery.


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Cultivation is similar to growing celery; however foliage is not blanched to produce paler stems as is done with celery (because the stalls are not eaten).

It grows best an open position in full sun. It prefers day temperatures between 16 and 21°C. It can go to seed if temperatures drop below 10°C; and requires shade over 30°C. It more difficult to grow in warm/hot and humid areas.

It is ideally grown in a well-drained, rich soil. Destroy all weeds before preparing the soil (use solarisation if necessary). Prepare the soil by digging in plenty of organic material and raising nitrogen levels (eg. manure and compost). Grow on mounds or raised beds. Water and fertilise often. Tender celery must grow fast, and hence uses more nutrients than most vegetables. Control weeds and maintain moisture with a heavy mulch. Blanche (cause to pale) by wrapping, or otherwise shading stems, when they are about 45 cm tall, with black plastic, piping or paper, leaving the top 15 or so centimetres of the plant exposed. Salt soil lightly before planting to improve taste and keeping quality. Ample moisture is essential. Crop rotation is important.



Seed may be started late winter in a greenhouse then transplanted to give an early harvest; or sown in spring direct into the open ground for a later crop.


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Plant Health

Diseases include septorial leaf spot, and damping off (seedlings). Good ventilation and cool temperatures will help control damping off.  

Pests can include snails, slugs, aphis.  Mulches of wood shavings or pine needles may be tried as a control for slugs and snails (but be careful of fresh material which might contain toxins). Serious infestations of aphis may require routine spraying with pyrethrum until controlled.


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