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Bronze fennel

Foeniculum vulgare var. purpurea

Brons vinkel (Afr.)

Bronze fennel, with copper to purple feathery leaves, is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers. It is a tall growing herb with fine feather-like leaves that have a licorice taste. It is used culinary, medicinal and cosmetic.

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.

Geography

Origin
Mediterranean
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun, 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.
Notes
Culinary, medicinal, cosmetic

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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