On May 2, 2011, Lilac_jewel from Nelson New Zealand wrote:
I live in the top of the South Island in New Zealand,and I often find this lovely smelling plant growing near the local rivers,so I don't need to grow it.The seeds of the Fennel plant are edible,with a sweet,minty flavour.
On Feb 10, 2009, cedar18 from Lula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Perennial here too. Great for hosting a wide variety of winged and crawling critters. Last year mine had a king-size preying mantis that patrolled the plant. I tried moving him to other plants but he kept coming back.
On Aug 4, 2007, grampapa from Wheatfield, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I am growing Florence fennel for the first time this year in my herb garden. I grew 2 plants from seed, mainly hoping to attract swallowtail butterflies to my garden. But we would also like to make our own Italian sausage, and fennel seed is a must. So I will be collecting seed for that.
On Jul 7, 2007, TaylorJanvier from Alameda, CA wrote:
I first encountered this plant when I was surveying a ginormous thicket of Himalayan blackberries along the north side of Alameda, CA (our island paradise on the San Francisco bay). It looked so alien I backed up and stared at it. Now it's sprung up wild all along the south shoreline. At least I know what to do with it. Ma, boil some water . . .
On Oct 15, 2006, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:
Everyone says it's an annual or biennial, but mine comes back every year like a perennial! It is a larval food for the black swallowtail butterfly. Once I see caterpillars on it, I throw bird netting over the plant to protect them from the birds.
If planted in a flower bed, fennel adds an interesting effect with its frothy foliage and angular stems. Being so tall, it is definitely a background plant.
Easy from seed. Flowers are easily deadheaded to prevent self-seeding.
On May 9, 2006, clairesn from Germantown, TN wrote:
I grew green fennel in St. Louis and am now growing it in Memphis. Bronze fennel is the preferred host plant for swallowtail butterflies, and their plump yellow, white and black striped caterpillars were always a welcome sight (though the birds usually got them later). The bronze variety doesn't produce as many seeds as the green variety. The regular green variety has many seed heads. The ripe seeds are plump and green and delicious sprinkled on a caprese salad (layers of basil leaves, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese) along with a little oil and vinegar. The more aged, dried seeds look just like the stuff in the jars in the grocery store.
The bronze and green varieties were planted alongside each other in my herb garden, but did not cross-pollinate. I found seedlings for both kinds all over the bed over the years. Some were transplanted to better spots; others easily pulled. I have seen small birds remove parts of the new growth in early spring, possibly to line their nests with the fragrant, soft leaves.
Part of the reason I was so anxious to get the herb garden started in my new home was to get the fennel planted again. It's a wonderful part of my herb garden (formerly the back yard).
On May 3, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Bronze color to leaves add winter interest--caterpillars of various species love this plant and I grow it to provide "fodder" for the cats and to lure them away from more valuable plants in the landscape. I overwinter the plant and it will often go dormat in the height of summer but will re-emerge when temperatures cool in the fall. It is a perennial here in the south.
Fennel is a hardy relative of dill, coriander, cumin, anise, carrot, and Queen Anne's lace; it grows very well in the south.
Bronze leaf fennel is probably the most difficult to grow in the south but is beautiful and well worth the effort. Most fennels grow from between 3'-5' when in bloom. Once seeds are harvested, cut the bloom stalks down to the ground and new growth comes quickly. Fennel is very drought tolerant and hardy, but a little water improves its flavor.
Fennel is the important "something" added to many sausages and is also used with fish. Fish is excellent grilled over fennel stalks with butter.Its also good in salads. The odor of fennel is warm, sweet, and fragrant. All fennels have the familiar anise flavor with varying degrees of sweetness, depending on the amount of oils present. Fennel releases its oils well in water but more freely in alchohol. This accounts for its presence in so many fine liquors.
On Jan 12, 2003, Doug1101 from Mount Barker WA Australia wrote:
I live in southern Western Australia. Mediterranean climate. Have grown individual plants for up to three seasons - 200+ cm or over 6 feet. Grasshoppers don't like them. Provides preferred home for ladybirds and predatory wasps.
On Nov 19, 2002, davidwsmith from Linlithgow wrote:
I agree with all philomel says regarding both varieties and my grandchildren et al love the gorgeous aroma. Mine grow to over 6 feet and I use it regularly to stuff trout along with some lemon grass, spring onions and ginger. I steam it for 10 minutes and them brown some garlic in sunflower and sesame oil and pour it over the fish and serve. Without the fennel, 7 out of 10, with the fennel, 10 out of 10 - try it!
On Nov 19, 2002, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenées France (Zone 8a) wrote:
I really enjoy this impressive herb. It makes a very good background for other plants and is extremely useful in the kitchen. In fact mine often doesn't get that far as I can't resist eating the tender new shoots on the spot. If you have more self control the fine leaves, which have a flavour akin to aniseed, make a fine accompaniment to any fish dish and can be chopped raw into salads.
It also has the advantage of being irresistable to hover flies and some other beneficial insects. If you plant some near your roses it will definitely help to keep the aphids at bay. The yellow flower heads are very attractive in a lacy sort of way and are followed by seeds that make good tea, or, if left, will be enjoyed by the birds.
An organic gardener's dream plant, except that it does seed around and, being deep rooted, can be difficult to oust once a plant gets established. However it can be easily controlled when the seedlings are small and, IMO, this is a very small price to pay for all the other benefits fennel brings.
I particularly like the bronze version, which adds an air of sophistication to any border and looks very handsome teamed with pink or dark red flowers. Or come to think about it, with just about anything!
On Aug 19, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Looks like dill, but the stems are solid and the plant smells like licorice. Clusters of yellow, umbrella-shaped flowers can reach 4 feet in height.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Mobile, Alabama Clovis, California Los Angeles, California Menifee, California Simi Valley, California Edgewater, Colorado Brandon, Florida Navarre, Florida Spring Hill, Florida Lula, Georgia Itasca, Illinois Galena, Indiana Oak Park, Indiana Barbourville, Kentucky Saint Martin, Mississippi Ramblewood, New Jersey Roswell, New Mexico Cayuga Heights, New York Raleigh, North Carolina Riverlea, Ohio Hulbert, Oklahoma Tulsa, Oklahoma North Augusta, South Carolina Nashville, Tennessee Pittman Center, Tennessee Austin, Texas Houston, Texas North Richland Hills, Texas Roman Forest, Texas Port Angeles, Washington