Apium graveolens. A species of plant in the Apiaceae family, also known as celery or celeriac depending on if the root or stalk is eaten. Celery has a very close relative called Apium bermejoi which is one of the most endangered plant species in Europe with less than one hundred individuals left. This plant has a lot of different uses around the world, either the leaf stalk, known as petiole, or the taproot is used as a vegetable in cooking.
In some countries the seeds, who are actually small fruits, are also used as either spice or flavoring. The seeds can either be used as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, also known as celery salt, which can also be made from the extract of the root.
Celery salt can be used as seasoning on drinks, such as the Bloody Mary cocktail, on hot dogs, such as the Chicago-style hot dog, and even mixed in other seasonings, such as Old Bay seasoning. The plant is, together with onions and bell peppers, are all important in Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine, celery is also a major ingredient in Indian cooking. Many different animals, such as guinea pigs, horses, birds and squirrels, all have celery as a big part of their diet.
The seeds can even be used to relieve pains and has later been proven to lower blood pressure in rats, the first documented use of the celery seed as a medicine is documented as early as 30 AD by Aulus Cornelius Celsus. Lately the plant has mainly been known for being valuable in weight-loss diets, since it not only has a low amount of calories but also has a high amount of fibers to ease digestion. Celery leaves and inflorescences has been found in the tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun who is believed to have died in the year of 1323 BC.