Scientific name: Foeniculum  vulgare   

Taxonomic position (according to Cronquist)

Kingdom:       Plantae

Division:         Tracheophyta

Class:              Dicotyledonaes


Family:           Umbelliferae

Genus:            Foeniculum    

Species :          vulgare                       

Botanical Description of Fennel

Habit: Fennel is a biennial or perennial  herb with erect stems, when older with hollow internodes.

Root: The plant has an elongated and enlarged tap root. The tap root is yellowish to light brown up to 2.5 cm in diameter, which is suitable soils can become deeply penetrating, with few lagre laterals but many side rootlets.

Stem: There is normally one,  erect, stout, main stem up to 1.5 m occasionally to 2 m, with the base 2-3 cm diameter, usually profusely branched on the higher portion. The stem is terete, striate, smooth, shiny, green to blue green with light green ribs and yellowish at the nodes, which may become hollow with age.

 Leaf: The bright green to blue green leaves are alternate, decompound, with a leaf sheath 2-15 cm with scarious margins, forming an open cylinder at the base embracing the stem. The leaf- blade is triangular. The petiole is up to 13 cm, broad exceeding the sheath and longitudinallu striate, the lower leaves are usually long petiolate, the higher leaves with blades often sessile on the sheath.

Flower: The inflorescence is large flat compound umbel, borne terminally on branches. The peduncle is terate to subterate, finely sulcate, light to blue green, with bracts and bracteols usually absent. The calyx is vestigial at the top of the ovary. The five golden yellow petals are distinct with a strongly inflexed, notched apex, the margins entire. There are five stamens up to 1.5 mm dehiscing via longitudinal slits.

Fruit: The fruit, a schizocarp, is elliptical, yellowish brown, 4-8 mm in length and consists of 2 curved mericarps. The seeds are hairy and yellow brown in colour.