Fennel is a tall, hardy, aromatic perennial of the parsley family native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean area. It is distinguished by its finely divided, feathery green foliage and its golden-yellow flowers. The spice ‘fennel seed’ is the dried fruit of the common fennel of commerce. Fennel seeds are harvested when they develop a greenish-gray colour and are sufficiently hard. After drying, the fennel seeds are oval, greenish-or yellowish brown.
Fennel seeds are available whole and ground.