Types of celery: leaf celery, stalk celery & celeriac
Celery has an unforgettable aroma. These are the differences between the tuber-forming celeriac, stalk celery and leaf celery.
Celery (Apium graveolens) belongs to the family of the umbellifers (Apiaceae) and is probably the best known representative of the celery genus (Apium). This plant genus includes thirty different species. One of the species is celery, which has several distinct varieties each with a specific name: celeriac, stalk celery and leaf celery.
Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum)
Celeriac, also referred to as turnip rooter celery or knob celery, forms a tuber. This is a storage organ, which is formed partly from the root and partly from the shoot. The tuber is sensitive to cold and must therefore be harvested before the first frosts in autumn. It can be used raw or cooked. By freezing or conserving celeriac, it can be preserved and used for longer.
Stalk celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce)
This celery variety is known as stalk celery. It only forms a small tuber, but its leaf stems are stronger and thicker. It has a less pungent aroma and is therefore perfectly suited for salads and other vegetable based dishes. If, for example, the stalks are wrapped in newspaper from mid-September and thus protected from light, they fade. The so-called blanched celery, which is known for its refined and sweeter taste, is the result. Since celery can cope well with cold, it can be harvested fresh throughout milder winters.
Leaf celery (Apium graveolens var. secalinum)
And last but definitely not least: the leaf celery. As the name suggests, this type of celery is enhanced with foliage similar to that of parsley. Leaf celery can be also used in a similar way as parsley to spice up salads and other dishes. One of the most prominent advantages of leaf celery is that it can be dried and used as a dry spice without losing its strong aroma.
Celery offers an impressive number of varieties and definitely deserves a place in every garden.