How to Grow, Harvest and Enjoy Fennel at Home

By Dr. Mercola Fennel is an herb with a mild but distinctive licorice flavor, popular in foods in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Every part of the plant can be eaten, including the seeds once the plant has flowered. Part of the carrot family, the plant is a perennial. Although classified as an herb, many chefs use the lower part of the plant, or the bulb, as a vegetable, adding it to salads, soups and stews. Although the bulb is layered, the stems of the plant are hollow. Fennel is cultivated in many parts of the world, but it also grows wild along roadsides and open pastures. It propagates well each fall by seed and is considered an invasive species of weed in Australia.1 The fronds that grow on the top of the plant may also be used in salads or as a garnish, much like dill. Interestingly, it is one of the main herbs used in the preparation of absinthe, an alcoholic beverage referred to as “spirits,” as no sugar is used in the distilling process. The preparation of abs


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