A chthonian symbol among the ancient Greeks, celery was said to have sprouted from the blood of Kadmilos , father of the Cabeiri , chthonian divinities celebrated in Samothrace , Lemnos , and Thebes . The spicy odour and dark leaf colour encouraged this association with the cult of death. In classical Greece, celery leaves were used as garlands for the dead, and the wreaths of the winners at the Isthmian Games were first made of celery before being replaced by crowns made of pine . According to Pliny the Elder  in Achaea , the garland worn by the winners of the sacred Nemean Games was also made of celery.  The Ancient Greek colony of Selinous ( Greek : Σελινοῦς , Selinous ), on Sicily , was named after wild parsley that grew abundantly there; Selinountian coins depicted a parsley leaf as the symbol of the city.
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