Fennel...but What Kind? - Knowledgebase Question

Walpole, MA
Avatar for poornima20
Question by poornima20
July 15, 2000
During a recent garden tour, I was really taken in by what I thought was really tall fennel? This, however, had almost blue stems. It smelled just like fennel and the texture in the garden was great! Do you know what kind of fennel this is? Is it an annual? I grow fennel in pots (with other herbs), but I really like the blue-stemmed variety.

Answer from NGA
July 15, 2000
You're likely to find two types of fennel at your garden center; Foeniculum vulgare or wild fennel (which is synonymous with F. officinale) and Foeniculum vulgare dulce, also known as sweet fennel. Both are perennial plants, often grown as annuals. Then there's Florence fennel, or finocchio, an annual with similar growing habits. What you're growing is probably the annual version and what you saw in the garden is probably the perennial type. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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