|This is the "jumble of umbels"
The plant in question is one which has been in my garden for the best part of two years now (OK, so you know that Leaf Celery is a biennial, don't you?), and this Summer it has gone to seed in a big way. The stems shot up to a height of about 5 feet, and produced a huge mass of flowers:
|The Leaf Celery in early July
I decided today that I ought to remove this plant before its seeds got scattered all over the garden by the gales that Autumn is bound to bring. I also decided that it would be a good idea to save some of the seeds and grow them in controlled conditions. My plan is to grow some of them in little containers on a windowsill, as "microgreens", much like Mustard and Cress.
So, I very carefully cut the plant down, a little at a time, trying hard not to let too many of the seeds drop off. I kept some of the best clumps - maybe 5% of the total? That plant had a LOT of seeds!
Some of the seeds are already ripe (and dropping off in cascades!), but others are still green, so I will need to dry the ones I saved very thoroughly.
Although Leaf Celery is a fairly small plant when at the cropping stage, when it decides to flower, its stalks can get very big:
As I was trimming this plant, I saw that there was plenty of new growth from base level, and it seems likely that it may last a bit longer, so it has had a Stay of Execution and will not be dug up just yet. In any case, I have a feeling that I will be living with its progeny for many years to come!
If like me you enjoy the flavour of Celery but not the texture, you might want to try this plant. It's sometimes called Celery Leaf, and sometimes called Leaf Celery, but although it is related to the normal Celery, it is not the same thing. It has a very pungent aroma and savoury taste, and a little bit goes a long way. I have used it mostly for adding an extra punch to home-made stock.