Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bronze Fennel
Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum'

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Foeniculum (fen-IK-yoo-lum) (Info) (fen-IK-yoo-lum) (Info)
Species: vulgare (vul-GAIR-ee) (Info)
Cultivar: Purpureum

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By Baa
Thumbnail #1 of Foeniculum vulgare by Baa

By darius
Thumbnail #2 of Foeniculum vulgare by darius

By darius
Thumbnail #3 of Foeniculum vulgare by darius

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #4 of Foeniculum vulgare by Weezingreens

By Weezingreens
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By Kruch72
Thumbnail #6 of Foeniculum vulgare by Kruch72

By PurplePansies
Thumbnail #7 of Foeniculum vulgare by PurplePansies

There are a total of 18 photos.
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6 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Sep 14, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An attractive perennial, but I got tired of pulling up seedlings. Self-sows too enthusiastically for me, and I got rid of it.

Positive sadele On Sep 14, 2014, sadele from Sag Harbor, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very pretty plant, bees love it. Reseeds easily (I'm in Z7a, Long Island NY, sandy loam) -- I let them grow, lose the foliage to caterpillars on one or two a year. Have two that are a few years old and close to six feet tall. Can use the leaves, pollen, flowers, seeds for flavoring. Seeds nice to chew on while gardening. Deer never bother it. I cut it back to the ground after I've harvested seeds.

Neutral calidris1 On Jul 7, 2013, calidris1 from Belmont, VT wrote:

I planted a few bunches of small bronze fennel in our Vermont mountain (1,800 ft. elevation) garden early last year and it survived the winter and doubled in height and vigor this year. Very attractive upright growth and lovely flavor of anise. Aside from fresh garden salads I haven't found a good use for it and would welcome new ideas.

Positive tcs1366 On Jul 7, 2010, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I don't prefer Fennel as a seed, but love this plant. The foliage is a feathery, brownish-copper in color [when it emerges in the spring] and it heavily reseeds, so if you don't want them popping up all over your beds, do dead-head them. I've heard Swallowtail Cats are attracted to them and i did see ONE last summer. The plant in this image, I planted last year, and it's now close to 4feet tall, if not higher. Pretty, "Queen Ann's Lace" type blooms, though these are yellow. The plant dies back at the end of the year, possibly Bi-Annual, or short lived Perennial.

Easily winter sown.

Positive ladyannne On May 2, 2006, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

My mum surprised us at Christmas with tiny bottles of what she called fairy dust, the flowers of fennel. Heavenly scent we use for cooking, and we had to have more! Fennel is grown all over the yard now.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 29, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Striking, bronze-purple foliage. It is a vigorous grower, and its color can be used very effectively in the border. Also known as Copper Fennel. It has the same licorice-anise flavor as Florence Fennel, and may be used in the same ways. It tends to reseed when well situated.

Positive PurplePansies On Jul 26, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I garden in the Mid-Atlantic and it is perennial here in zones 6/7. This is a wonderful plant. It hosts a variety of caterpillars ever year and it's blooms provide nectar for butterflies. The seeds are good in baked goods, especially desserts and tea. They are also useful medicinally especially for stomach upsets and gas. Good natural breath fresheners. The leaves are outstanding, feathery and although bronzey with age, I find mine are often a blue/green/grey color. Yellow umbellic flowers perfectly compliment the foliage. It is a wonderful addition to the herb OR perennial garden! The leaves are useful in cooking, especially braised and served in soups and fish dishes. They are also useful cosmetically. Easy to grow and very easy to grow from seed, in fact you'll usually notice a few self-sown seedlings. But there are not enough to be a bother. It can be grown in dry to wet soil. It likes sun, and doesn't like to be transplanted when full-grown, (deep tap root). Transplant when young and water well untill established. Can reach towering heights in a few years, although usually at most four, my oldest is six feet! It is susceptible to no diseases and insects. Does best with minimal fertilizing. I highly recommend this plant. Pictures never do it justice, buy some and plant it and you will not be dissapointed!

Neutral Weezingreens On Aug 31, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Bronze fennel does not winter over in my USDA zone 3 climate, but we grow it as an annual. I mostly grow it as an ornamental, but have dried the fronds of leaves, as well.

Positive darius On Jul 30, 2002, darius from So.App.Mtns.
United States (Zone 5b) wrote:

Mine was more bronze last year but is now partly shaded by a red twig dogwood and a buddleia, and so more green. Easy to grow, and survives well in my zone 6b.

Positive IdaAlice On May 4, 2002, IdaAlice wrote:

Host plant for Black Swallowtail larvae. Has aromatic foliage.

Neutral mystic On Jan 27, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Clump forming biennial or perennial with deep roots.Has thread like purple-bronze foliage with a scent of licorice. Has tiny dull yellow flowers in the summer.This one is hardier than the other fennel's.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

North Little Rock, Arkansas
Alameda, California
Berkeley, California
Merced, California
Sacramento, California
San Anselmo, California
Gainesville, Florida
Lithia, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Oakland, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Carrollton, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Itasca, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Saint Louis, Missouri
Blair, Nebraska
Roswell, New Mexico
Elba, New York
Sag Harbor, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Saint Pauls, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Salem, Oregon
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Pennsburg, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Hixson, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas
Austin, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Ogden, Utah
Belmont, Vermont
Lexington, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Wytheville, Virginia
Fircrest, Washington
Seattle, Washington

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