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Italian variety. Plants produce good-sized bulbs with half-hollow stems. Best as fall crop. Also known as 'White Perfection'.
A member of the carrot family, Fennel does not appreciate transplanting so sow seeds directly into the ground in the fall or in spring after the last frost. Seeds are sown 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep in well drained soil. Space to 8 to 12 inches (20 - 30 cm) in rows 18 to 24 inches (45 - 60 cm) apart. Leaves may be harvested continually. Seeds are harvested from flower heads after they turn brown, and bulbs should be allowed to reach the size of a tennis ball before harvesting. Harvest bulbs as needed, leaving others to continue to grow and get larger. These perennial plants will over winter and are not affected by frost.
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It is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe, Pernod, and other licorice-flavored aperitifs. Fennel is also used in toothpaste, and seeds soaked in water and mixed with sodium bicarbonate ease flatulence and colic in infants, and bloating in adults. Seeds are often eaten raw to improve eyesight and are used to treat glaucoma. It is good for hypertension, and many Italians use it as a diuretic. It is used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking and is essential in chinese five-spice powders. Roasted fennel seeds are eaten as an after meal digestive and breath purifiers in Pakistan, India and throughout Europe. Its bulb is eaten as a vegetable, raw and also cooked, and its sees are used as flavoring. Powdered fennel is used for flea abatement in kennels and stables.
It has become naturalized alongs roads and other open and disturbed areas: it propagates well by seed and it is often considered an invasive species.