Fennel Bronze, Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum'
Bronze Fennel has the same taste than green fennel, but looks even more stunning in the perennial border. This plant 1.5 meters, half a meter across and and the soft airy feather foliage with the unique bronze colour add interest to the back border. By the end of summer, little yellow flowers appear which develop into fennel seeds. I cut my plants down afterwards.
Cutting back actually promotes fresh grow of soft leaves, which are preferably in the kitchen.
The leaves are great with with fish and I use them often finely cut in salads. The seeds are used in herbal medicine against congestion, conjunctivitis, to stimulate the appetite and increase the flow of breast milk, upset stomach reliefand soothing sore throats.
This plant should not be confused with sweet or Florence fennel, an annual vegetable grown for its swollen bulbs, this is a perennial plant. Green fennel is a weed in many regions, but bronze fennel is much less likely to self sow and become weedy.
Bronze Fennel is easy to grow and suceeds in average garden soil.