Par-Cel Leaf Celery Seeds - (Apium graveolens v. secalinum)
- Seed Count:
- Approx 100 seeds per pack
- Days to Maturity:
- 72 days
- Days to Germination:
- 21-30 days @ 60-75F
- Plant Spacing:
- Light Preference:
- Full sun to partial shade
- Heirloom, Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO seeds
Par-Cel Leaf Celery - So Easy to Grow
Named for its parsley appearance and snappy fresh celery flavor, Par-Cel is a somewhat unknown 18th century Dutch heirloom that is luring home gardeners away from growing celery. Much hardier and easier to grow than stalk celery, it’s great for smaller container and herb gardens with a significantly longer season. Naturally vigorous, it shines as a cut-and-come-again summer salad crop. Young leaves are a counterpoint in salads, while the mature ones are used as a seasoning herb in dressings or soups, stews, pies, and stuffings.
Bred for its abundant dark leaves and thin stalks, Par-Cel usually grows 18 - 20” tall, but can top 3’ in warmer, long-season gardens. It is all leaf with slender, hollow stalks, looking like a larger version of Italian parsley but with a more herby, assertive flavor.
Plants withstand heat and drought and are remarkably cold tolerant, lasting well into late fall and easily overwintering 10 - 20°F lows. It is very vigorous once established, and a couple of plants will easily keep a small family supplied with flavorful leaves.
Leaf celery is as closely related to wild celery as a cultivated plant can get and is also known as smallage in England, cutting celery, Chinese celery or 'Kintsai', and Soup Celery. Italians know it as 'Verde da Taglio' and its modern German name is 'Schnittsellerie'. The Par-Cel variety was first spread by Geerman settlers, who knew it as Zwolsche Krul.
Originating as a Mediterranean marsh plant and described as being used medicinally before 850 BC, ancient literature reports widespread use by both Greeks and Romans, even into the Middle Ages. Celery, as we know it today, was bred in the 17th century for larger stalks.
Hollow, crisp stalks packed with flavor, cutting celery will quickly become an essential in your garden and kitchen. Use the entire sprig, or the stalk and leaves separately. The stalks are more concentrated with flavor, so add them to pretty much anything that needs a bright, refreshing bite, soups, stews, salads or sandwiches. Once cooler weather arrives, use it in mirepoix — the French combination of carrots, onion, and celery — for added character in soups and other autumn dishes.
The leaves have an intensely bright, strong, assertive flavor, lending depth and complexity to dishes. A few leaves are superb in salads, especially when paired with strong blue cheese or cured meats, as they bring a sweetness to the dish.
Cut individual stalks for fresh use, the plant will continue to thrive and grow more. The dried, ground seeds make a great seasoning with their fresh, clean taste, especially with sea salt. Par-Cel dries exceptionally well, giving a potent herb in the winter. Simply hang sprigs upside down in a well-ventilated area, then grind into powder just before use.
Leaf celery repels cabbage white butterflies, so is a good companion for brassicas. It is also beneficial for leeks, onions, spinach, tomatoes, and French beans.
Flowers that like leaf celery are cosmos, daisies, and snapdragons.
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This is a durable biennial plant for the southern gardener. It endures temps in excess of 100 degrees and wilts lightly with freezing temps only to rebound. Delightful celery flavor that is good fresh or dried.
This is great for containers, and is usable in salads, and cooking. It holds up well in hot weather. The leaf is not curly, and is very similar to flat leaf parsley.
Grew this variety for some years, but the seed became hard to find and we tried other varieties of leaf celery. This is the only one that thrived in our sometimes crazy Ozark climate and that also had the rich flavor we prized. So glad to see that Terroir Seeds is carrying it.
Germination and growth were good. Leaves had a distinct celery taste. We planted one half of a bed with it and the other half with Utah bunch celery. The Utah went to seed while Par-Cel continued to produce some good leaves. A nice alternative to bunch celery. Over all did well in this area.