Perennial grown as an annual with a licoricey taste. Tender stalks and leaves are good for relishes, salads and garden munchies; leaves and seeds excellent with fish. May also be grilled, sauteéd or steamed.
Seeds used in sweets, baked goods & beverages. Aids digestion while reducing flatulence. Can soothe bronchial coughs.
Culture: Start indoors in early spring, transplant May-June. For fall bulbs, start late spring. Minimum germination temperature 40°, optimal range 60-70°. Hardy to under 20°. Adequate spacing to 8-12" apart is critical. Fennel prefers rich well-drained slightly limey soil. Maintain consistent soil moisture for best bulbs.
See Herb Chart for uses and cultural information.
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Takinagawa Burdock and Resina Calendula, as well as oats, mammoth red clover and alfalfa in the Farm Seed section, also have medicinal uses. Medicinal herbs such as black cohosh, licorice, and many more are available as plants, and shipped in the spring with orders from our Trees division.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.