Bronze Fennel 'Purpureum'

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: Purpureum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Fayetteville, Pennsylvania

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

South Jordan, Utah

Belmont, Vermont

Lexington, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Wytheville, Virginia

Fircrest, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


On Jul 7, 2010, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9b) 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.


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.


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.


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 ... read more


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.


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.


On May 4, 2002, IdaAlice wrote:

Host plant for Black Swallowtail larvae. Has aromatic foliage.


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.