Foeniculum vulgare rubrum - Bronze Fennel
Bronze Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare rubrum. Growers are split between the cultivar names Rubrum and Purpureum and a few use Nigrum. Regardless plants are spectacular in the garden and fragrant on the dinner table. Green or red foliage makes little difference for taste. There are a number of varieties a with fattened bulblike base, Sweet Fennel or Azoricum. On the down side Foeniculum vulgare is a major weed and is difficult to eradicate. Fennel easily escapes and should not be planted near wild areas. Roots can grow up to 6 feet deep. Leave a root behind and Fennel will come back. Foeniculum vulgare is easily grown from seed making it a most successful weed. Anise Swallowtail butterflies are often around during Spring and Summer. A number of butterflies including this Monarch feed on Bronze Fennel nectar. Foeniculum vulgare is hardy down to zone 5, far colder than we see in most of California.
High resolution photos of Foeniculum vulgare rubrum are part of our garden image collection.