Foeniculum vulgare

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaUmbelliferaeFoeniculumFoeniculum vulgare


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.



World Distribution

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.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 9

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 3

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.1

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 823

Life form information

Height (cm): 250

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 961

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 60

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 13

Atlas Change Index: 1.17

Weighted Changed Factor: 50

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


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.