Gathering Celery Seed

Celery Seed looks like this on a healthy plant;

Celery  plant with seed

On a stressed plant it looks like this.

Celery producing seed

Celery is a good mother, it will sacrifice itself to make healthy seeds.  It may even make more flavorful seeds when it does this. They certainly seem stronger flavored.

The seeds will dry out and become ripe while a healthy plant will still be producing seeds.  The ones lowest on the plant dry out first.  you can gently roll the seeds in you fingers to release them.

Celery seeds on plant

It is easier to harvest a stressed plant, all at the same time, and the flavor may be stronger.  However the flavor of a happy stress free seed, is quite divine.  And the only way you will ever know it, is if you grow your own.


3 comments to Gathering Celery Seed

  • Skip J.

    Good pics! You obviously have a better flash than I have on my little e-camera, or your e-camera is not so little…

    I think a last seed production effort when under stress may be a general vegetative function. I see a lot of plants – including trees – in my work, and think that their reproduction goes into high gear when they are under stress. It always amazed me the number of “expert” biologists who would observe a loblolly pine under stress – that was over producing small cones and exhibiting short needles – and ID them as an expert as shortleaf pine. The over production of cones is a sure sign of stress, and then you could look for other signs of stress for verification. In all my years in the woods, I have never seen a shortleaf pine exhibit any signs of stress.


  • I wonder if there are morphological properties set into action by stress grown seed. They are definitely smaller and stronger flavored. In some plants, smaller seeds are more viable or at least have lower latency.

    The only ‘stress’ I have ever witnessed on a short leaf pine, was along a fence line where weed killer was used regularly to keep the fence clean and plant free. There were also long leaf pines on that fence row, but they were already dead.

    I never noticed the weed killers destroying trees on fence lines, until I saved a long leaf in my yard, by cutting the main trunk and all the limbs from the fence side. Since then, the poor mangled pine has indeed produced an amazing amount of pine cones, so I must confirm your observation.


  • Skip J.

    I do believe that herbicides would stress a short leaf pine – I have never seen it tho. Most trees, especially pines – are naturally stressed by the seed germinating in a too dry or too wet spot; and then trying to struggle up in the shade of it’s neighbors. Those that survive to head height are in the correct position on the landscape and soil type. Then it’s surviving the shade until it is one of the few that grows up into the sun and dominates. Short leaf pine is naturally small and will shoulder up between it’s neighbors until it can dominate those around it. Those mature short leafs underneath a dominant tree just grow a bit slower. Man’ll come along and take down that big one sometime anyway.


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