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Old May 13, 2020   #1
JRinPA
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Default Herb ID help needed

This thing tagged along with a red rhubarb dig and drop transplant. What is it, fennel? Dill? Other?
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Old May 13, 2020   #2
Labradors2
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Bronze Fennel. It will attract caterpillars of the Swallowtail family .

Linda
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Old May 13, 2020   #3
ramapojoe
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what does it taste like?
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Old May 13, 2020   #4
JRinPA
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The rhubarb taste okay, no better than regular though and not nearly as productive as our regular old green rhubarb. I don't know if that herb is affecting it.

Oh you meant the herb's taste... Well I could never really smell it strongly. I've been looking at pictures but didn't consider taste. I just broke some off and does smell like fennel seed/licorice. Sort of taste that way, weak though. That was the older growth dark stuff.

I have parsnips for swallowtails, and they get plenty of action, but I didn't see any caterpillars on this stuff the last two seasons.

Is this fennel a bad neighbor that would hold back the rhubarb? That is our old meadow tea mint patch also, so it can go a little crazy there. Maybe I'll try to transplant this to a pot.
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Old May 13, 2020   #5
oldman
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It's pretty easy to start from seed. If it crosses with dill you get something that looks like dill but tastes like dirty socks smell. Fennel also has a bulb that can be used fresh or cooked. Since good fennel has an anise/licorice taste it's still not something everyone will like. I don't think I've ever seen it referred to as a good companion plant for anything. Unless you have a particular need for fennel, or are going to make sausage and want fresh fennel seed, it's basically just another weed.
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Old May 14, 2020   #6
Labradors2
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Fennel isn't a bad neighbor for rhubarb. I'd be inclined to leave it there and save the seed for planting next year but I like to attract the Swallowtails to my garden.

Linda
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Old May 14, 2020   #7
GrowingCoastal
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Fennel is an excellent attractor of friendly fliers like hover flies that go after aphids.
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Old May 14, 2020   #8
JRinPA
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Seems unanimous as bronze fennel?

I'm not sure what I'll do with it. Probably leave it there. We do make venison sausage but generally buy fennel seed...maybe I'll keep my eye on it this year to check the seed. We were making a lot of rye bread for a while so had bought fennel seed in bulk.
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