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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Fennel
shopping: all 4 varieties
Foeniculum vulgare

fennel

plant overview
flavorful fennel

Fennel is a bulbous, flowering plant that is original to the Mediterranean region and now cultivated in India, Russia and France. From the feathery leaves to the large bulbous root, the entire plant exudes a licorice-like aroma. When cooked as a vegetable, fennel is sweet. The seed is equally pleasant, lending a warm, spicy-sweet aroma and flavor to foods and teas.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Fennel
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on fennel

description
Fennel is a hardy perennial herb of the Apiaceae family (formerly Umbelliferae) with a characteristic anise or licorice scent.

Fennel has a thick, perennial root-stock, stout stems, 4 to 5 feet or more in height—erect and cylindrical, bright green and so smooth as to seem polished, much branched bearing leaves cut into fine segments. The bright yellow flowers, produced in large, flat terminal umbels, with from thirteen to twenty rays, are in bloom in July and August. Seeds of wild fennel look like the fennel seed commonly used as a flavoring in foods: they are oblong, dorsally compressed, and ribbed.

common names & nomenclature
The word "fennel" developed from the Middle English fenel or fenyl. This came from the Old English fenol or finol, which in turn came from the Latin feniculum or foeniculum, the diminutive of fenum or faenum, meaning "hay".

Also known as:
fennel, finocchio, sweet fennel, wild fennel, saunf, perumjeeragam, marathon, marathos


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for fennel

Fennel is native to the Mediterranean, now naturalized throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting fennel

climate
Fennel has become naturalized along dry, sunny roadsides, in pastures, and in other open sites in many regions. It is considered to be an invasive species and a weed in Australia and the United States.

soil
Fennel will grow in any ordinary garden soil, though it may have more yields on rich fertile or sandy soils.

growing
Fennel is easily propagated by seeds, sown early in April in ordinary soil in a sunny location. It is considered to be invasive in some areas, so take care in selecting the location as a stand of fennel may last for many years.

harvesting
Watch your fennel plant as the yellow heads fade into light brown and the seeds start to form in tight clusters. They will have a light green hue until they are ready to pick—when you see stripes start to form on the individual seeds you'll know it is time to harvest. Snip off the heads as a whole and let them sit out over night to dry, this will make seed collection easier the next day. Dry seeds thoroughly, use whole or powdered.

preserving
Store whole seeds or powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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