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Bulb Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Anise, Florence Fennel, Finnochio 'Zefa Fino'

Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Foeniculum (fen-IK-yoo-lum) (Info) (fen-IK-yoo-lum) (Info)
Species: vulgare var. azoricum
Cultivar: Zefa Fino
Synonym:Foeniculum azoricum
Synonym:Foeniculum dulce
Synonym:Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce
Synonym:Foeniculum vulgare subsp. capillaceum var. dulce





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

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


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

Seward, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Cape Coral, Florida

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Hernando, Mississippi

Tualatin, Oregon

Clarksville, Tennessee

Boerne, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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. Ha... read more