Florence Fennel

Plant Specifications

(Finocchio, Sweet Fennel) Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum. Full Sun. Perennial. Height: up to 3 – 5’. Florence fennel, also known as finocchio, is one of the most decorative garden vegetables, grown for the succulent, aniseed-flavoured bulb which develops from the swollen bases of the leaf stalks. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most difficult vegetables to bring to maturity, due to its sensitivity to any adverse conditions it encounters.

In the Garden

Fennel grows best in a sunny position on light sandy soil, though any fertile, well drained soil into which plenty of organic matter has been worked will do. Florence fennel is a difficult crop, as plants tend to bolt rather than swell at the base. Some cultivars are sensitive to day-length, and bolt if sown before mid-summer; growth checks caused by water shortage, low temperatures, fluctuating temperatures or transplant shock may also result in premature bolting. Improved cultivars are continually being developed which have better resistance to bolting, though none is perfect. Pleasantly warm summers with plenty of moisture are ideal conditions for fennel. Florence fennel will withstand light frost towards the end of the season.

Plant Uses

The bulbs and aromatic leaves can be cut and used in salads and cooked in many dishes. Bulb slices mixed
with other salad greens are excellent as a ‘bed’ for fish and chicken dishes.Lends interesting flavor backgrounds
to sauces and soups.

Bronze and Green Fennel

Plant Specifications

Foeniculum vulgare. Half Day Sun. Perennial. Height: up to 3’ Width: 12”
The perennial herb fennel differs from the annual vegetable fennel, in that it does not form a white, swollen base. Mounds of glorious light, lacy, fern-like leaves in a mixture of copper, green and muted purple stems all bend in the air like smoke.

In the Garden

Fennel prefers a lot of sunlight – but not alot of heat, so bright morning sun is most preferrable. and moist, well-drained soil. A fast growing herb, its fine, feathery leaves provide a fine texture in the garden. This fennel is a beautiful plant with whispy foliage that adds as an airy background to the perennial garden. According to folklore, fennel shouldn’t be planted next to dill since it can hybridize with dill to produce unfavorable seedlings. Harvest leaves as needed before flowering. Fennel flowers are said to attract beneficial insects.The plant is strongly scented with a sweet licorice flavor and scent will waft over the entire garden.Tiny edible flowers bloom in midsummer. The flowers contrast nicely with the foliage and are forage for bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects.

Plant Uses

Leaves are excellent in many dishes such as salads, fish, pork, eggs, cheeses, beans, rice and vegetables. The flowers make lovely fresh bouquets. A leaf or seed infusion can be taken internally for indigestion, flatulence or suppressing appetite. (Never ingest any herbs for medicinal use without first consulting your doctor.) Externally, fennel has been used in facial tonics or as a gargle for sore throats.

Bronze Fennel

Plant Specifications

Foeniculum vulgare ‘purpureum’. Half Day Sun. Perennial. Height: up to 3’ Width: 12”
The perennial herb fennel differs from the annual vegetable fennel, in that it does not form a white, swollen base. Threadlike, feathery, bronze-purple leaves similar to dill, it blooms with tiny edible flowers in midsummer. New growth is bronze-purple throughout the season. Mustard yellow summer flowers contrast nicely with the foliage and are forage for bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects.

In the Garden

Fennel prefers a lot of sunlight and moist, well-drained soil. A fast growing herb, its feathery leaves provide a fine texture in the garden. Bronze Fennel is a beautiful plant with whispy foliage that adds as an airy background to the perennial garden. According to folklore, fennel shouldn’t be planted next to dill since it can hybridize with dill to produce unfavorable seedlings. Harvest leaves as needed before flowering. Fennel flowers are said to attract beneficial insects.

Plant Uses

Leaves are excellent in many dishes such as salads, fish, pork, eggs, cheeses, beans, rice and vegetables. The flowers make lovely fresh bouquets. A leaf or seed infusion can be taken internally for indigestion, flatulence or suppressing appetite. (Never ingest any herbs for medicinal use without first consulting your doctor.) Externally, fennel has been used in facial tonics or as a gargle for sore throats