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Fennel
Apiaceae
Foeniculum vulgare


lorincook
lorincook

Apiaceae Family

Foeniculum Genus

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General Information

Foeniculum is a genus of fewer than half a dozen species, in the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae).

It is best known for Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), treated by some botanists as the sole species in the genus. The name of the genus is derived from Latin feniculum, fśniculum, diminutive of fenum, fśnum, "hay".

With its umbrels of tiny yellow flowers and dark green or bronze wispy leaves, fennel is a decorative addition to the herbaceous border where it makes a good background plant. Be warned, however, that many other plants dislike fennel and grow poorly when forced to share space with this strong herb. Never plant fennel near coriander or dill.
Cultivation

Fennel will grow in most any soil, but the richer the soil, the more tender the foliage. Seeds should be sown directly in the garden in the late spring. Seedlings do not transplant well. The deep taproots are difficult to pull up, so remove unwanted seedlings while young. The plant will self-sow generously. To maintain a continuous supply of fresh leaves throughout the season, sow a few seeds every 10 days. If seeds are not desired, remove flowerheads to promote bushier growth. Fennel can be grown as an annual, although the established roots will overwinter easily. Divide roots in fall after the seeds have been harvested.

Culinary Uses

Use the leaves with pork, veal and fish. They are also good in fish stock, sauces and stuffings, and in mayonnaise, flavored butters and salad dressings. The dried stalks are placed under grilled or barbecued fish. The seeds are used as a spice, particularly in breads. At the two-leafed stage, the seedlings make a pungent salad, reminiscent of mustard.

Medicinal Use

A tea made with a few fresh sprigs of fennel or a level teaspoon of seeds will relieve indigestion. An infusion of the seeds is an excellent carminative, especially for babies. Use 1 teaspoon (5ml) of infusion for colic and gas.

Fennel is an effective treatment for respiratory congestion and is a common ingredient in cough remedies. A tea made from fennel helps to stimulate the flow of breast milk. It is sometimes added to baby formula to aid digestion. An infusion makes a soothing eyewash.

Other Uses

Chew the seeds as a breath freshener.
• Fennel seeds don't come from bulb fennel but from common, or wild, fennel. The seeds are slightly nutty, with the expected licorice flavor, and are widely used in sausages, stews, soups, and curries.

• Fennel stalks can take the place of celery in soups and stews, and can be used as a "bed" for roasted chicken and meats.

• Use fronds as a garnish, or chop them and use as you would other herbs, like dill or parsley. Chopped fennel works especially well in Italian tomato sauces, but add it late in the cooking process so the flavor isn't diluted.

Bulb Basics

• Trim the stalks about an inch above the bulb.

• If you want pieces to stay together for grilling, keep the root end intact. Otherwise, trim about a half inch off the root end before cooking.

• To slice fennel, stand the bulb on the root end and cut vertically.

Thanks to Kris Wetherbee for this information.



Fennel
Fennel - September 21, 2009



Fennel
Fennel - September 21, 2009



Fennel
Fennel - September 21, 2009



Fennel
Close up of a Fennel flower forming



Fennel
close up of Fennel leaves



Fennel
this fennel is going to seed....extending upward



Fennel - Plant
Fennel - Plant - May 11, 2009



Fennel - Plant
Fennel - Plant - May 11, 2009

Comment: Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare

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