DESCRIPTION:  An outstanding herb grown for its airy, finely cut, fragrant foliage; showy yellow flowers in summer mass atop the plant; anise flavoured foliage and seeds are used in cooking; a...
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DESCRIPTION An outstanding herb grown for its airy, finely cut, fragrant foliage; showy yellow flowers in summer mass atop the plant; anise flavoured foliage and seeds are used in cooking; a standout in the border with its ferny look, also great when massed.

BOTANICAL NAME: Foeniculum vulgare 'dulce'
OTHER NAMES:  
GROUP/CLASS: 
AVERAGE MATURE HEIGHT: 90-150 cm
AVERAGE MATURE SPREAD: 90 cm
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun to partial shade
FLOWER COLOUR: White
FLOWERING TIME: Summer
FOLIAGE COLOUR: Green
COLD HARDINESS: Annual
WATER NEEDS: Average
OTHER FEATURES: Edible

Edible Qualities

Sweet Fennel is a perennial herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The entire above-ground parts of the plant are edible, and are usually harvested from late summer to early fall. The edible parts have a savoury taste.

The plant is most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Seasoning

Features & Attributes

Sweet Fennel has masses of beautiful yellow flat-top flowers held atop the stems in mid summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive fragrant ferny leaves remain bluish-green in colour with showy violet variegation throughout the season.

This is an herbaceous perennial herb with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration:

  • Insects
  • Self-Seeding

Fennel is suitable for the following landscape applications:

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Herb Gardens

Planting & Growing

Sweet Fennel is a fast-growing annual that will live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year. This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. 

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