Fennel is a particularly ornamental culinary herb, which works equally as well in ornamental borders as it does in herb and vegetable gardens. Fennel has very finely divided foliage and attractive, plate-like yellow flowers followed by aromatic seeds. The flowers are attractive to insects, especially hoverflies, and the seeds are eaten by birds.
Fennel has a strong aniseed flavour. Use the bulb sparingly, in soups or roasted and served with other root vegetables, or sliced in salads. The leaves may be harvested and used in pesto, and the seeds in curries.
Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ has feathery, bronze-purple leaves in contrast to sulphur-yellow flowerheads. It is well suited to growing among ornamental grasses and tall perennials such as Verbena bonariensis
Soil: Moist but well-drained
Position: Full sun to part shade
Season of Interest: Culinary use, pollinator plant
Height: 5-8ft (1.5-2.5m) Spread: up to 1.5ft (0.5m)