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Fennel - What is Fennel

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Overview:

Fennel is a lovely herb, that can be used for many types of gardens. Try growing it in your kitchen garden, medicinal gardens and simply for attracting insects in your butterfly gardens. Any way you choose, fennel will be sure to please.

Latin Name:

Foeniculum vulgare

Common Name:

Fennel, also a fabulous bronze fennel variety

USDA Hardiness Zone:

Annual to zone 9, but can become invasive due to self seeding.

Exposure:

Full sun, tolerates partial sun, but may not flower.

Harvest:

Every part of fennel is not only for harvest, it tastes delicious! Fennel seeds are sweet and soothing, the flowers are edible in salads, the leaves are anise flavored and the root or bulb is commonly used raw in salads and cooked as a root vegetable.

Uses:

Fennel is an herb that gives and gives all season long. Its showy form makes a stunning backdrop or focal point in your garden. Butterflies cannot resist this herb, and it is a siren's song to the swallowtail butterfly.

Fennel leaves are tasty in salads and light dishes for summer. Their anise flavor is well liked by all. Add to fish dishes and brighten an otherwise strong flavored variety of fish.

Medicinally, fennel is used in a tea to aid digestion, and also known to reduce hunger pains and sweeten the breath.For nursing mothers, fennel seed tea is used to increase milk. This is a great addition to a mother's milk tea.Finally, fennel tea is also a soothing eyewash for conjunctivitis.

Try growing fennel in your garden, just be aware of its tendency to reseed itself and take over your entire gardening space. To avoid this, keep the flowerheads cut off so there are no seeds. Once you are ready to collect the seeds, keep an eye on the developing flowers, and place a small paper bag over the flowerhead before cutting the dried flower at harvest time. Then, the seeds that will inevitably fall off, will be collected and not fall to the ground.

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