Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce
Florence Fennel, Finocchio, Florentynse Vinkel (Afr.), Vinkel (Afr.)
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Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce is commonly known as Sweet Fennel or Florence Fennel. This flowering plant resides in the Apiaceae family, it produces a delicately flavoured bulb, which is widely grown and consumed as a vegetable, called Fennel. It is grown ornamentally for the edible foliage and swollen leaf bases (bulbs), all parts of the plant are fragrant and can be used in cooking.
Blanch the fennels bulbs by covering the plant base with soil. The bulbs will begin to thicken towards the end of the summer. Harvest the bulbs in autumn when they are about 10 cm in diameter. It is important to keep the plant well watered to encourage it
Planting fennel is easy as seeds can be sown directly into garden soil. Seeds can also be grown in containers and should be covered with a thin layer of potting soil.
Fennel plants can be divided and moved as soon as top growth appears in the new season.
Attracts useful insects
Florence fennel attracts the mouse moth and the anise swallowtail.
Soil PH preference
Leaves, flowers, seeds and bulbs are edible and used as a herb, spice or veggetable.
Culinary, medicinal, cosmetic
Fennel may be attacked by the parsley caterpillar which can be removed by hand. Generally, fennel has no other serious pest problems.