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Among our most popular herb plants, the dark green, feathery foliage of this delicious culinary herb, Green Fennel is as dramatic and lovely in the garden as its cousin variety, Bronze Fennel. It is an eye-catching plant and beloved by bees and butterflies alike!
The sweet leaves of this herb plant can be chopped and used in soups, salads and stews, and is a common ingredient found in Italian sausages. Green Fennel is also used with oily fish such as salmon in order to improve digestion, or it can be made into Fennel Tea, for a calming effect on the whole body. Fennel's medicinal benefits may also prove to be a potential treatment for hypertension, because of the herb's diuretic properties.
This wonderful culinary herb is as useful in the garden as it is in the medicine chest and the kitchen. And, it produces a delicate yellow flower in the summer, that attracts and hosts Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars and many other beneficial and pollinators.
Characteristics: Perennial as far North as Zone 7 and can reach to almost 6 feet high!
Light: Fennel prefers full to partial sun.
Water: Keep moist but not constantly wet; can withstand drought.
Soil: Well-drained garden loam with pH of 4.8 to 8.2.
Extras:The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible and it is related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. It also has a cleansing and toning effect on your skin, and makes an natural insect repellent for fleas. Plant some around your outdoor kennels, barn or near your doorways to keep fleas at bay naturally.
Bronze Fennel makes a beautiful addition to your garden and when combined with Green Fennel, the colors create a stunning contrast. Both varieties aravens for Swallowtail butterflies and can be used interchangeably in cooking.
Fennel Face Mask: The essential oil of this perennial herb helps to cleanse and soften dry skin. Herb Quarterly provided a wonderful recipe for a Fennel Honey Face Mask:
1/4 Cup Boiling Water 1 TLB Fresh Fennel leaves (finely chopped) 1 TLB Honey 2 TLB Plain Yogurt
Put fennel in a bowl, and cover with boiling water. Once cool, strain off the liquid and mix the fennel water with other ingredients. Apply the mixture to clean skin with a small brush and allow to site for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat skin dry. You can store excess in the fridge.