Genus: Fennel Foeniculum Fennel (Foeniculum) foe-NIK-yew-lum Apiaceae These beautiful garden staples provide texture, height, and utility to the border, vegetable, or herb garden. The delicate yellow flowerheads are landing pads for plenty of visiting butterflies as well. Plants in the genus Foeniculum are short-lived perennials or biennials, but will replace themselves by self-seeding; deadhead to prevent a spring carpet of seedlings (lovely, but overwhelming in number). Use in a perennial border, herb garden, or butterfly garden. Noteworthy characteristics: These plants have notable foliage of the finest texture, which adds elegance to the garden; some are grown ornamentally, others for their anise-flavored seeds, leaves, and stems. Fennel is a host plant for swallowtail butterfly larvae. Care: Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Propagation: Sow seed in situ or in spring; the deep taproots make division difficult or unsuccessful. Problems: Stem and root rot, aphids, slugs. Foeniculum View the discussion thread.