Foeniculum vulgare (common fennel) is an upright, branching perennial that is typically grown in vegetable and herb gardens for its anise-flavored foliage and seeds, both of which are commonly harvested for use in cooking.
It somewhat resembles a very large dill plant. It grows to 1,50m tall and features feathery, compound, aromatic, yellow-green leaves with needle-like segments and tiny yellow flowers in large, flattened, compound umbels.
Flowers bloom in mid- to late summer, and are followed by aromatic seeds. Plants have escaped gardens and naturalized in many parts of North America. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies. Fennel is a larval plant for certain swallowtail butterflies.
Good for borders, vegetable gardens, herb gardens, cottage gardens or meadows. Good plant for a butterfly garden. Seeds are commonly harvested for use as flavoring in a variety of foods such as bakery products or sausages.
Chopped leaves may be used as flavoring for salads, potatoes or fish.
Easily grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. May be grown from seed that is sown directly in the garden in spring. Freely self-seeds in the garden. Remove spent flowering stems before seed is produced to avoid any unwanted self-seeding.
Info source: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org
Genus - Foeniculum
Species - Vulgare
Common name - Fennel
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 1 - 1.50 m
Spread - 0.40 m
Plant type - Biennial
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acid, neutral, alkaline (pH 4.8 - 8.2)
Soil type - Moist, organically rich, well-drained
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Borders, vegetable gardens, herb gardens, cottage gardens or meadows
Bloom season - June - July
Leaf / Flower color - Yellow-green / Yellow
Propagation by seed is easy.
Soak seed for 4 to 5 days to increase germination.
Sow seeds where you want them in the garden in spring (April - May) or fall.
You can also start seed inside.
Plants self-sow readily.
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