Florence Fennel - Foeniculum vulgare dulce - Butterfly Host Plant

Shady Oak Butterfly Farm


Sweet Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare dulce

Zones: 6-9

Height: Up to 6 feet

Plant Spacing: 12 inches

Light Requirements: Full sun

Water Requirements: Medium

Soil Requirements: Moist, well-drained soil

Host Plant For: Black Swallowtail, Anise Swallowtail

Starter Plants are not large enough to feed larvae.
One 4" potted Fennel will feed 1 larvae.
Sweet Fennel Distribution Map

Fennel is an aromatic herb commonly used in cooking. It also has been used for medicinal purposes. As a perennial, it will die back in the winter and regrow every spring (Zones 5-11). The bright yellow flowers will bloom during the summer, and Fennel will quickly spread by self-seeding if spent flowers are not removed. The leaves are thin and thread-like, with a feathery texture.

Native to Europe, Sweet Fennel is now naturalized throughout most of North America after it was introduced in the 18th century. It is also commonly grown in kitchen gardens throughout the world. The Anise Swallowtail and the Black Swallowtail Butterfly use Fennel as a host plant during the larval stage.