A perennial herb found in marshes, on sea-walls, in gravel-pits, on roadsides and waste ground and on rubbish tips. It has a deep tap-root, allowing it to survive in droughted habitats and making it very persistent. It reproduces freely from seed. Lowland.
Archaeological evidence suggests that F. vulgare has been used as a culinary herb since Roman times. It is common in gardens, but rarely cultivated on a field scale. It is much more frequent now than when mapped in the 1962 Atlas, especially inland.
Subsp. piperitum is native to the Mediterranean region; our plant is subsp. vulgare which was derived from it in cultivation and is widely naturalised in Europe and elsewhere.
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.