Bronze Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare var. purpurea

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Bronze Fennel produces feathery leaves coloured copper-purple. It is a flowering plant species in the carrot family, Apiaceae. This hardy, perennial herb produces yellow flowers. It is a tall-growing plant with leaves that have a liquorice-like taste. It is grown for culinary, medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Autumn

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

To harvest the seeds, allow seed heads to dry on the plants, remove carefully and collect the seeds. When the seed heads are brown and dry, harvest them by cutting them into a paper bag. Store them in a dry place. The seeds are easily separated from the heads by rubbing them lightly between your thumb and fingers.

Propagation

Seed

It is easily propagated by seeds. Plant them 25 to 30cm apart and then thin them out or replant.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

It attracts beneficial insects and feeds the caterpillars​ that morph into swallowtail butterflies.

Crop rotation

Light feeder

Attracts birds

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

Hedge plant

Fennel can be used as a high hedge; its value in the landscape changes to one of screening, dividing or hiding parts of the garden.

Attractive flowers

Flat-topped, sulphur-yellow flower heads.

Special features

Origin

Mediterranean

Natural climate

Mediterranean

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb added to meals to help relieve flatulence. It soothes coughs and is part of cough remedies. It stimulate milk production in nursing mothers. A tea will soothe sore throat.

Edible

Leaves, flowers and seeds are edible with a licorice flavor. It often is part of weight loss recipes.

Cosmetic

Essential oil is used in aromatherophy.

Personality

Family

Apiaceae

Flower colour

Yellow

Scent

Mild

Problems

Caterpillars are sometimes found in the summer. Larvae of swallowtail butterflies, aphids, slugs and snails. Disease is rarely a problem.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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