Family Apiaceae. Celery is a wetland plant from the Mediterranean that tolerates salt, and has been cultivated as a vegetable since antiquity. Celery is grown as a winter and early spring vegetable, rumored to be a cleansing and anti-inflammatory tonic. Celery seed is used as a spice. Celery, onions, and carrots make up the French mirepoix, used as a base for sauces and soups.