Scientific Name: Foeniculum vulgare

Fact Box:

  • Order: Apiales
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Genus: Foeniculum
  • Species: F. vulgare


With thin feather-like leaves, fennel is a strong herb native to Eurasia. The bulbous plant’s long whitish-green stalks can extend several feet into the air, and the soft leaves can range from spring green to grayish-green in color. Known for its licorice or anise-like taste, fennel’s leaves, bulb, and seeds can all be eaten.

Two types of fennel:


F. vulgare var. azoricum

  • Annual
  • Grown in the spring & fall
  • Anise-like flavor, used as an herb

Bronze fennel

F. vulgare var. dulce

  • Perennial
  • Bronze or purplish tint
  • Mainly cultivated for its bulb


Consumable: Fennel leaves and seeds are often used to garnish or spice up a dish.

Medicinal: Fennel seeds are good for the digestive system and can soothe stomach pains. An essential oil can also be extracted from the plant, with energizing properties. Some body lotions and soaps are known to contain this essential oil.

Fennel’s flowers are yellow and resemble the flowers of Queen’s Anne Lace.
(Source: Pixabay)
Fennel bulbs can be chopped and eaten as vegetables. (Source: Flickr)