- botanical name: Foeniculum Vulgare Nigra
- tender perennial, hardy in zones 4-9
- height 24-36″
- spacing 6″ apart, in rows 18″ apart
- full sun tolerant
- well-drained, average soil
- flower color yellow
- uses in garden: fragrant
- use in salads, dressings, sauces, in soups and stews
- attracts predatory insects to the garden, butterflies, songbirds
Bronze Fennel is a great ornamental addition to the garden by virtue of its highly unique color. It also has a decorative feathery texture that makes a nice contrast to green, leafy plants. Bronze Fennel’s large, lacy yellow flowers attract butterflies.
The anise-like flavor of fennel makes it a tasty addition to meat and vegetable dishes. It blends well with rosemary. Fennel came from the Mediterranean and is a relative of parsley and carrots. It is one of the spices that gives Italian sausage its flavor, and is great in marinara sauces and meatballs.
Easy to grow, Fennel is usually grown as an annual or biennial. Like other varieties of fennel, bronze fennel likes full sun. Every part of the plant can be used, from bottom to top: stalk, leaves, and flowers.
Bronze Fennel plants are also available. Purchase them here.
Indoors – sow seeds 1/4-1/2″ deep in pots and transplant outside after danger of frost has passed. 7-14 days to germination. Transplant 6″ apart in rows that are 18″ apart.
Outdoors – recommended planting method – Fennel is easily grown from seed sown directly in the garden as soon as possible in the spring after the last frost. Plant 14-1/2″ deep, 10 seeds per foot, in rows 18″ apart. No need to thin for leaf harvest, but can thin later, to 6″ apart if larger root is desired. 50-60 days until harvest.
Harvest – leaves and stems should be harvested for fresh use before the plant begins to flower. Roots are edible and may be harvested in the fall of the first year, before the plant flowers. Fennel must usually be wintered over for seed production. Will bolt to produce seed the second summer in areas where it is grown as a biennial or perennial. Plants may produce seeds the first year (in areas with a long cool spring). Harvest seeds as they begin to turn their characteristic grayish-green color. Note: too much moisture at bloom time can prevent formation of seeds.