Fennel Bronze

Price: $ 5.00

Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’

This stunning bronze variety of wild fennel (not the bulbing florence fennel), looks just as at home in the flower border as in the vege garden. Fine clouds of feathery, bronze-purple leaves are followed by flat-topped, sulphur-yellow flower heads in mid to late summer and then by aromatic seeds.

Fennel has a sweet aroma and an aniseed flavour. The young unfurling leaves are delicious in salads, as a garnish or with fish, or just as a forage food for kids - green lollies! Use young or old leaves in fish stock, sauces and stuffings and in mayonnaise, flavoured butters and salad dressings. The dried stalks can be placed under grilled or barbecued fish.  The yellow flowers are tasty in salads, and the ripe seeds can be used in baking and to make a digestive tea.  The roots are fibrous but have a tasty parsnip-like flavour and we consider them to be somewhere between cultivated vegetables and famine food in terms of use. 

Fennel is a useful companion plant for attracting bees, hoverflies and ladybirds. The dried stems can be used as stakes for bean and pea teepees and make excellent woody mulch around trees in winter. Our kids also use them as witches broomsticks! The plant accumulates sulfur and potassium.  Fennel can self seed quite prolifically, so make sure you cut off the seed heads before they mature if you don't want the plants to spread, or put a paper bag over them to collect them for use.  Full sun, unfussy as to soil and tolerates drought. Height to 200cm. 9cm pot.

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