Easily grown in the ground or in containers, this type of fennel is not the kind used for its fleshy bulb or roots. The fronds may be used for cooking as well as the seeds. In the spring through fall female Black Swallowtail butterflies will generously lay eggs on the delicate stems of the feathery fronds. Eggs are perfect yellow spheres.
Fennel is a very hearty plant that is tolerant of extreme benign neglect. In our yard in Hillsborough it never really dies back during the winter. It will slowly grow and be tall enough to feed the first brood of caterpillars in April. Plants grown in full, beating sun have reached an astounding height of 9 feet in our habitat! In the late summer hungry caterpillars will eat the seeds, but never all of them, so expect to have a lifetime supply of fennel if you plant it in the ground. It grows very well in containers, too.