Apium prostratum

Distribution Map
Family: Apiaceae
Distribution: Widespread throughout southern Australia, usually near the coast but sometimes in saline areas inland.
Common Name: Sea celery
Derivation of Name: Apium...The Latin name of the celery plant.
prostratum... From Latin prostratus, spreading, referring to the usual growth habit of the plant.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

The genus Apium comprises about 20 species found in Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia. They are biennial or perennial plants growing wet areas. Some, like the common garden vegetable celery (Apium graveolens), are edible. There are two species native to Australia.

Apium prostratum
Apium prostratum
Photo: Tony Rodd

Apium prostratum is a biennial or perennial herb with broad or narrow divided leaves, similar to the common celery plant. It has a prostrate or upright habit reaching 0.5 to 1 metre high. Very small white or pink flowers occur in spring and summer. Several varieties are recognised.

Apium prostratum has received some attention from the 'bush foods' industry as it has a flavour similar to the common celery but with some evidence of parsley flavour. It was used as a celery substitute by the early European settlers. As far as is known, the plant is not in wide cultivation but it is apparently easily grown in a moist sunny position.

Propagation from seed is reported to be successful without any pretreatment although germination may take several weeks.

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