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Fennel, or Foeniculum vulgare is a hardy perennial herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves, that grows wild in most parts of Europe, but is considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean and India.
It has been used for centuries and spread around the globe, and will happily grow wild in many parts of the world. Fennel will thrive anywhere, and it is easily propagated by seeds, sown early in April in ordinary soil. It likes plenty of sun and is adapted to dry and sunny situations, not needing heavily manured ground, though it will yield more on rich soil.
Growing 1.5m to 2m tall, fennel will need to be cut back to remove old growth, and the plants should be replaced every 3 years.
Fennel's leaves and seeds are used as flavouring in a variety of dishes, especially Eastern European cooking, and on account of its aromatic properties, Fennel seeds are used medicinally as a purgative to help digestion and assist with stomach gripes - it is a main component in the domestic 'Gripe Water,' used to correct the flatulence of babies.