Bronze Fennel 'Rubrum'

Foeniculum vulgare

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: Rubrum
Additional cultivar information:(aka Smokey Bronze)





Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage



Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Huntsville, Alabama

Ohatchee, Alabama

Tuscumbia, Alabama

Capistrano Beach, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Laguna Beach, California

San Clemente, California

Washington, District of Columbia

Gainesville, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Columbus, Georgia

Lake Charles, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Roseland, Louisiana

Florence, Mississippi

Cincinnati, Ohio

Inman, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Killeen, Texas

Lexington, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 28, 2015, Jnette from Northeast, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Please tell me if the Bronze Fennel is edible. Regular Fennel is the finish for spaghetti. Not spaghetti without it.

I did not know Bronze is edible.


On Jun 7, 2013, juhur7 from Anderson, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Self seeds here , left the seeds last year to fall where there may . They did and plants of this are everywhere.


On Mar 3, 2013, joraines from Inman, SC wrote:

I have this growing in my butterfly garden and it creates a beautiful, billowy bronze-rose 'cloud' in the garden and is consistently covered with swallowtail caterpillars through the summer. It has already started returning this year in early March and will no doubt grow even taller this year than last when it reached over five feet tall. I love it.


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 dro... read more


On Feb 4, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Also known as Smokey Bronze Fennel; my information says it is hardy to zone 11.


On Jun 8, 2005, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Beautifull ..really striking colour..brown orange to ochre..very pretty.. I cannot stop touching this plant. Its foliage is so cool and soft lacy...aromatic too..tasty in salads. Attracts butterflies and it is one of the bests hosts for the cats of butterflies... special for Swallowtails...