Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Foeniculum vulgare
sweet fennel

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in lowland areas in Washington; British Columbia to California, east across much of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, meadows, ditches, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Introduced from the Mediterranean region

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Stout, short-lived, glabrous and glaucous perennial with a strong anise odor, 1-2 m. tall, the single stem branched above.


Leaves 3-ternate-pinnate, petiolate, the blades up to 4 dm. long and wide, the ultimate segments filiform, 4-40 mm. long and less than 1 mm. wide.


Inflorescence of compound umbels, the rays 10-40, unequal, 2-8 cm. long at maturity; involucre and involucel wanting; calyx teeth obsolete; flowers yellow.


Fruit oblong, sub-terete, glabrous, with prominent ribs, 3.5-4 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
Publication: Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 511. 1891.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Anethum foeniculum
Foeniculum foeniculum (L.) Karst.
Foeniculum officinale
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Foeniculum vulgare in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Foeniculum vulgare checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Foeniculum vulgare atlas page.

CalPhotos: Foeniculum vulgare photos.

USDA Plants: Foeniculum vulgare information.

17 photographs:
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