Archive for August 4, 2009

Bronze fennel – host plant for Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies

Wildlife 005

Bronze Fennel

Name:  Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’

Zones:  4 to 9

Size:   3 – 4 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Conditions:  Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil.

Bronze fennel is grown in my herb garden for one reason:  as a host plant for the Eastern black swallowtail butterfly.  The plant itself is very lusty looking.  Bronze color adds interest in an herb garden that can be heavy on green.  The feathery foliage looks good all summer, as long as it is not allowed to go to seed.  To avoid this, feel free to cut it back during the summer, or just let the larvae do it for you.  Invasive in some areas.

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