Photos of Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel, Fennel seeds.

Foeniculum vulgare. Fennel is an annual, biennial, or perennial native to Eurasia. Copper or bronze fennel has bronze leaves with a metallic lustre. Finocchio or Florence fennel, Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare var. azoricum like celery, has edible stalks greatly thickened at their base. It is often erroneously confused with F. vulgare subsp. vulgare var. dulce whose leaves are not thick at the base and is primarily grown for the essential oil in its large fruits. Foeniculum vulgare subsp. piperitum, which has sharp-tasting fruits, occurs in dry rocky soils in the Mediterranean region. The seeds are used to stimulate milk flow, as an aromatic stimulant for digestive disorders, and as a carminative, especially to relieve infant colic. Fennel is also an expectorant, diuretic, and antispasmodic.

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