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A picture of a Bronze Fennel

Bronze Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum'

Also known as

Brons Vinkel (Afr.), Purple Leaf Fennel, Fennel

Photo by Amelanchier1 (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Bronze Fennel

A close up of some Bronze Fennel
A photo of Bronze Fennel

Bronze Fennel Overview

Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum' is better known by the names Bronze Fennel, Purple Fennel or Purple Leaf Fennel. Bronze Fennel is an attractive, ornamental, deciduous cultivar from the carrot family, Apiaceae. Grown for the foliage, bulb and seeds, which can be cooked in various ways. Bronze Fennel is an attractive plant, it suits growing in borders just as much as a vegetable patch. This hardy, perennial herb produces yellow flowers in clusters on flasttened heads and feathery leaves coloured copper-purple upon emergence, later developing to a more grey-blue colour with age. Fennel has an aniseedy, liquorice-like taste. It is a tall-growing plant, forming clumps up to 1.8m in height. Grow in full sun to partial shade and moist, well-draining soil. Sowing is generally done in spring, germination is enhanced by warmer temperatures. Purple Leaf Fennel is often grown as an annual plant for culinary, medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Suitable for coastal environments.

Common problems with Bronze Fennel

Caterpillars are sometimes found in the summer. Larvae of swallowtail butterflies, aphids, slugs and snails.

Bronze Fennel Companion Plants

How to harvest Bronze Fennel

To harvest the seeds, allow seed heads to dry on the plants, remove carefully and collect the seeds. When the seed heads are brown and dry, harvest them by cutting them into a paper bag. Store them in a dry place. The seeds are easily separated from the heads by rubbing them lightly between your thumb and fingers.

How to propagate Bronze Fennel


It is easily propagated by seeds. Plant them 25-30cm apart and then thin them out or replant.

Special features of Bronze Fennel

Attracts useful insects

It attracts beneficial insects and feeds the caterpillars​ that morph into swallowtail butterflies.

Crop rotation

Light feeder

Attracts birds

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

Hedge plant

Fennel can be used as a high hedge; its value in the landscape changes to one of screening, dividing or hiding parts of the garden.

Attractive flowers

Flat-topped, sulphur-yellow flower heads.

Other uses of Bronze Fennel


It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb added to meals to help relieve flatulence. It soothes coughs and is part of cough remedies. It stimulate milk production in nursing mothers. A tea will soothe sore throat.


Leaves, flowers and seeds are edible with a licorice flavor. It often is part of weight loss recipes.


Essential oil is used in aromatherophy.


Attractive scented foliage.


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