Foeniculum vulgare


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. Possibly 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.

Where to find it

Grows mainly in central and southern areas of England and along the coastline of Wales.


When to find it

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Although they sometimes don't look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts get involved in different projects to help make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Foeniculum vulgare
Height: up to 2m
Conservation status
Common, possibly introduced.