October 24th, 2003
Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)

Swallowtail caterpillar
2005-04-14. Swallowtail caterpillars on bronze fennel.

Dateline: 2003-10-24

Planted some smokey bronze fennel from Renee’s Garden (500mg for $2.49) in the vegetable garden, which I use for starting seeds over the winter because it is the sunniest and warmest part of the garden by January, after all the leaves have fallen.

Notes from the seed packet.

“Striking bronze fennel has 4 to 5 plumes of filigreed coppery leaves and lacy golden flower umbels that ripen mellow anise-flavored seeds.
“These plants are stunning additions to flower or herb beds and are major nectar hosts for many butterfly species. Season seafood, salads or cooked vegetables with sprigs of the feathery copper-bronze leaves. Tea made from the aromatic leaves or sweet seeds soothes upset stomachs and calms the nerves.”

Dateline: 2004-01-17

Four plants have survived the onslaught of snails or woodlice and are now about five inches tall. Planted some more seeds in the same area on a beautiful warm winter day after the sun.

Dateline: 2004-03-15

Planted some more smokey bronze fennel seeds.

Dateline: 2005-02-28

No new fennel has sprouted but some of the old fennel is putting out new growth near the base of the frozen stalks.

Dateline: 2005-04-14

Swallowtail caterpillars love fennel.

by M Sinclair Stevens

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