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Foeniculum vulgare
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Josée Bouthot)
Foeniculum vulgare
  • Foeniculum vulgare
  • Foeniculum vulgare
  • Foeniculum vulgare (gr. Dulce) 'Pupurascens'
  • Foeniculum vulgare (gr. Dulce) 'Pupurascens'



Origin and description

Fennel is native to North Africa, Southern Europe and Asia, among other regions. It is used as a vegetable and a flavouring as well as for its medicinal properties.
Cycle: Perennial, cultivated as an annual.
Spacing: 30 cm.
Height: 90-120 cm.

Species, cultivars and related plants

The 'Purpurascens' cultivar has highly ornamental bronze leaves.

Common name


Latin name (genus)

Foeniculum vulgare

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Apiaceae

Growing conditions

Exposure: Full sun.


Sow seed indoors in late March or April.
Sow seed outdoors in May.


Harvesting: Leaves as desired and cut stems when fruit ripen

Culinary use: Fresh leaves, dried fruit.

The fruit, commonly called seeds, add an anise-like flavour to marinades, cheeses, cookies, sauerkraut and liqueurs. The leaves are milder tasting than the fruit and have traditionally been used with fish dishes to aid digestion. They should be added before serving or toward the end of cooking.

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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