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|Positive ||renatelynne ||On Jun 7, 2007, renatelynne from Boerne new zone 30, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have grown it for years just for the swallowtail cats to munch on. It self seeds in my garden (when the cats leave enough flowers to set). I have never tried to produce the bulb since I mainly grow it for butterflies.
|Neutral ||smiln32 ||On Aug 29, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
This variety has a thick, edible base; usually, dirt is mounded over the bottom of the plant to blanch it. It's a popular Italian vegetable. The feathery leaves give a mild, licorice-like flavor to soups, stew and fish. The seeds are also excellent in salad dressings and on chicken.
|Positive ||Weezingreens ||On Jan 16, 2003, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:
Finocchio was introduced from Italy over 100 years ago. It is a popular seasoning and vegetable in Europe. Unlike other fennels that are grown for their foliage and seeds, the primary interest in Finocchio is the bulbous base that can be eaten raw, blanched, baked, or boiled. When cooked, the anise-like flavor is more subtle, resembling an anisey celery. Finocchio is sometimes sold as anise in the United States, but it is not to be confused with true anise.
Finocchio is somewhat weather hardy, and in milder climates, it can be harvested the second year before it flowers. However, it can also be harvested the first year when started early... about 100-120 days. Zefa Fino is bolt resistant, as well. Once Finocchio begins to bulb, one can hill around it to form a round bulb. Harvest bulb before it flowers.
Seward, Alaska is a zone 3 climate with cool soil and cool rainy weather, so I was pleased to see that my neighbor's Zepfa fino bulbed in the first season in her raised bed.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Bear Creek, Alaska
Cape Coral, Florida
Old Jefferson, Louisiana
Fort Worth, Texas
Scenic Oaks, Texas
Wixon Valley, Texas