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Herb (Apium graveolens) of the parsley family, native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The varieties with large, fleshy, succulent, upright leafstalks were developed in the late 18th century. Celery is usually eaten cooked in Europe but raw in the U.S. The tiny fruit, or seed, of the celery resembles the plant itself in taste and aroma and is used as a seasoning.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on celery, visit Britannica.com.