days to maturity: 50 days
plant spacing: 4 plants per square foot
sunlight requirements: 6-14 hours
look out for: aphids
harvest notes: harvest whole plant cut and come again, or fronds as needed at any age
A highly aromatic annual herb, bronze fennel is widely cultivated for its edible, licorice-flavored leaves and seeds. Bronze Fennel has dark, smoky foliage that’s very attractive in perennial borders or annual containers, where it adds a soft, airy, somewhat mysterious bronze, grey to purple look. Certain swallowtail butterflies like fennel as a food source for their caterpillars, who won’t eat much and are fun to watch as they grow. Native to the Mediterranean region and southwestern Asia, bronze fennel is the sole species in the genus. We grow this beautiful herb through the season at our farm for local chefs who use its tender fronds for both flavor and garnish. Fronds can be harvested at any age, and if they’re large they are most often pulled apart for use in the kitchen as garnish or flavoring element. NOTE: if you’re looking for fennel, the bulbing vegetable, this is not it! We sell that too, but it’s not an herb, check our veggie section for green fennel bulb plants. This variety wont make a bulb, just delicate feathery purple flavorful fronds. This plant is incredibly heat tolerant and will last the summer if you want it to, although we always prefer planting annuals like this fresh in the fall for increased yield and better flavor.