Scientific name: Foeniculum vulgare
Fennel has feathery leaves and open, umbels of yellow flowers. It was probably introduced by the Romans for culinary use, and is now a naturalised species of verges, waste ground and sand dunes.

Species information


Height: up to 2m

Conservation status

Introduced, but naturalised species.

When to see

July to October


With feathery leaves and open, umbrella-like clusters of yellow flowers, Fennel is a distinctive member of the carrot family (umbellifer). It favours grassy, disturbed ground and can be seen along roadside verges, and on waste grounds and sand dunes. Probably introduced by the Romans as a herb for cooking and medicine, it is certainly widely naturalised today, and can be seen flowering between July and October.

How to identify

Fennel has grey-green foliage with thread-like leaves that smell of aniseed. Its loose umbels of yellow flowers appear at the ends of branched stems.


Mainly found in Central and Southern England, and along the Welsh coast.

Did you know?

The seeds of Fennel are still regularly used in cooking today and are sometimes provided as an after-dinner treat in Indian restaurants.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts record and monitor our local wildlife to understand the effects of various factors on their populations, such as the introduction of new species. You can help with this vital monitoring work by becoming a volunteer - you'll not only help local wildlife but learn new skills and make new friends along the way.