Giant Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region, growing 7 to 10 feet tall, producing a spectacular profusion of feathery foliage and umbrella-shaped heads of yellow flowers in mid to late summer. Not to be confused with ordinary fennel, it has a variety of uses. The dried seed stalks are used as tinder in the Mediterranean. Giant Fennel shares some of the same qualities as ordinary fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). Though the blanched young shoots are considered edible when used in small amounts, this plant should be used in moderation for a short time since it contains potentially toxic principles, especially in the root. The edible portions are the seeds and the thickened base of leaves and young shoots; however if used in large amounts it can lower the prothrombin level of the blood. The aromatic seeds can be used as a spice and flavoring. Aside from its value as a spice and flavoring plant it makes a very interesting ornamental. (Ferula communis)
Medicinal: Used as a carminative, expectorant, laxative, and diuretic. The essential oil of this plant has been reported to cause liver regeneration in studies with rats.
Growing instructions: Biennial in zones 2-5, and a perennial in zones 6-10. Germination at 70°F in 7-14 days. Direct sow or transplant. Full sun. Grows 72-120" high. Space 36" apart.
Packet: 0.15 g, approximately 75 seeds