Fennel or Foeniculum vulgare is a plant species in the genus Foeniculum.
Overview of Fennel or Foeniculum Vulgare
• It is a member of the family Apiaceae.
• It is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb.
• It has yellow flowers and feathery leaves.
• It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean.
• It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb.
• Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species.
• These include the mouse moth and the anise swallowtail.
• Fennel grows up to a height of 2.5 m.
• The leaves grow up to 40 cm long
• It is erect and glaucous green.
• It has hollow stems.
• The leaves grow up to 40 cm long.
• They are finely dissected.
• The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels.
• These umbels are 5–15 cm wide.
• Each umbel section having 20–50 tiny yellow flowers borne on short pedicels.
• The fruit is a dry seed.
• The seed is from 4–10 mm long.
Uses of Fennel or Foeniculum vulgare
• Culinary uses
• Medicinal uses
– Intestinal tract
• treats flatulence
• expulsion of intestinal gas
• improve eyesight
• clear cloudy eyes
• treatment of glaucoma
– Blood and urine: Treat Hypertension
– Breast milk: Improves the milk supply of a breastfeeding mother.
• Other uses
– chronic coughs
– disliked by fleas
Growing conditions for Fennel or Foeniculum vulgare
• Purchase fennel seeds from any nursery or home and garden center.
• Arrange for an area with full sun exposure in your garden.
• The soil should have good draining capacity.
• Plant them after your zone’s last frost.
• Rich deep soil produces tender foliage.
• Add a general-purpose fertilizer or mulch.
• This is to enrich the soil.
• Sow seeds spacing 12 inches apart.
• Cover with quarter inch of soil.
• For row planting, space the rows about 3 feet apart.
• Water soil with a light spray nozzle.
• The shoot comes out usually between 1 and 2 weeks.
• Water once or twice weekly as per the requirement.
• Stake the fennel plants in windy locations.
• Stake them when they are about 18 inches tall.
• Mulch 4 inches over the plant.
• This enables winter protection.
• Mulch with evergreen boughs, tree leaves or straw.
• Watch for aphids.
• Leave seeds on the seed head for self-propagation.
• Thin the seedlings in early spring.