Foeniculum vulgare

Family: Apiaceae

Common name: FENNEL

Native to: Europe, Mediterranean


Types: biennial, perennial

Forms: clumping, erect

Max height: 6.6 feet

Max width: 6.6 feet





new growth distinct


Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, specific butterfly species

Edible: herb

Exposure: sun

Landscape use: flower fragrant

Propagates by: seed

flowers in summer

Soil types: clay, loam, sandy, well drained

USDA Zones: zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: -20 to +40 °F

Water: drought tolerant, moderate, regular

Butterflies that feed on this plant

  • Foeniculum vulgare 3
  • Foeniculum vulgare 4
  • Foeniculum vulgare 5
  • Foeniculum vulgare
  • Foeniculum vulgare 2
  • Foeniculum vulgare 6
  • Foeniculum vulgare

If you love feeding wildlife, grow this plant. Insects flying around in the garden will provide you with four months of visual delight. Grow from seed or from small plants purchased from the nursery. Leave the plant in the ground and let it flower - it will get 5-6 feet tall and attract virtually every pollinating insect in the neighborhood. You will also attract numerous species of butterfly who use this plant as a "host" plant. They will lay eggs on the fennel plant that will later mature into caterpillars and then into adult butterflies that meander through your garden. In my case, caterpillars showed up within a year of putting the plant starts into the ground. The blossoms last a very long time. Fennel plant is a member of the carrot, celery, or parsley family, Apiaceae.

GARDEN ALERT! Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) will come to this plant to nectar. And, it will come to this plant to nectar even if planted in pot located in a suburban garden.