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Foeniculum vulgare azoricum - (Mill.)Thell.

Common Name Florence Fennel
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards Skin contact with the sap or essential oil is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people[218, 222]. Ingestion of the oil can cause vomiting, seizures and pulmonary oedema[222].
Habitats Not found in the wild.
Range A cultivar of F. vulgare.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Foeniculum vulgare azoricum Florence Fennel


http://flickr.com/photos/25397586%40N00
Foeniculum vulgare azoricum Florence Fennel
http://flickr.com/photos/25397586%40N00

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Foeniculum vulgare azoricum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

F. azoricum.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses: Condiment

Leaves - raw or cooked[52]. A delicious aniseed flavour, the young leaves are best since older ones become tough. They make a very nice addition to mixed salads[K]. Leaf stalks and stem base - raw, cooked or used as a flavouring in soups etc[50, 61, 183]. A strong, aniseed flavour[K]. They are often blanched before being eaten[183]. Very low in carbohydrates, proteins and fats[132]. Seeds raw or cooked. They have a delicious aniseed flavour and are used as a flavouring in cakes, bread etc[52, 183]. Root - cooked[53]. The flavour is somewhat parsnip-like[K]. A herb tea can be made from the seeds or the leaves[16, 183].

Medicinal Uses

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Analgesic  Antiinflammatory  Antispasmodic  Aromatic  Carminative  Diuretic  Emmenagogue  Expectorant  
Galactogogue  Hallucinogenic  Stimulant  Stomachic

Fennel is a commonly used household remedy, being useful in the treatment of a variety of complaints, especially those of the digestive system. The seeds, leaves and roots can be used, but the seeds are most active medicinally and are the part normally used[4]. An essential oil is often extracted from the seed for medicinal use, though it should not be given to pregnant women[4, 238]. The plant is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactogogue, hallucinogenic, laxative, stimulant and stomachic[4, 7, 9, 21, 147, 165, 176, 192, 238]. Fennel is often added to purgatives in order to allay their tendency to cause gripe, and also to improve the flavour[4]. An infusion of the root is used to treat urinary disorders[238]. An essential oil obtained from the seed is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Normalising'[210]. The essential oil is bactericidal, carminative and stimulant[218]. Some caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity[222].

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Other Uses

Dye  Essential  Repellent  Strewing

The seed yields up to 5% of an essential oil[1, 4, 46]. This is used medicinally, as a food flavouring, in toothpastes, soaps, perfumery, air fresheners etc[1, 46, 238]. The flavour of fennel oil depends upon its two main constituents. 'Fenchone' is a bitter tasting element whilst 'anethole' has a sweet anise-like flavour[238]. The proportions of these two ingredients varies according to strain and region. Plants growing in the Mediterranean and southern Europe usually have a sweet oil whilst plants growing in central and northern Europe usually produce a more bitter oil[238]. The quality of the oil also depends upon how well the seed has been dried - the oil from fully ripened and dried seeds being much sweeter and more fragrant[245]. The dried plant is an insect repellent[14, 53], the crushed leaves are effective for keeping dogs free of fleas[201]. The plant was formerly used as a strewing herb[201]. Yellow and brown dyes are obtained from the flowers and leaves combined[168].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils[1] but prefers a sunny dry position[200]. A cultivated form of F. vulgare, grown for its edible swollen leaf bases, there are some named varieties[183]. This is the genuine Florence fennel[200]. Attracts bees and hoverflies[24]. Fennel is a poor companion plant in the garden, it inhibits the growth of nearby plants, especially beans, tomatoes and kohl rabi[14, 18]. It is itself inhibited by wormwood and coriander[14, 18].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in early spring in situ[1]. Division in March as the new growth appears[16, 200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Agastache foeniculumAnise Hyssop, Blue giant hyssopPerennial0.9 7-10  LMNDM51 
Foeniculum vulgareFennel, Sweet fennelPerennial1.5 3-10  LMHNDM533
Foeniculum vulgare dulceSweet FennelPerennial1.5 6-9  LMHNDM333

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Mill.)Thell.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

saiful   Tue May 25 22:45:40 2004

Link: iptek.net

   Thu Apr 17 2008

Fennel can also be used to treat eye infections. The seeds are added to boiling water. After a few mins, take the seeds out. Then use cotton wool balls or tissues to soak up a small amount of the water (having let it cool down a bit). Then wipe cotton wool over closed eye & eyelid. This helps to clean out the eye, just as salt-water would do.

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