Fennel is a perennial that grows to 2 metres or more, and at least 50cm across. The leaf has a strong anise scent and flavour, and the buttery yellow flowers appear in summer and autumn. The more common green type is a noxious weed in some regions so it should not be planted. It’s better to grow bronze fennel, which is similar to the green type, but has purple/bronze leaves, does not spread as easily and is not a noxious weed. Alternatively, grow Florence for its delicious aniseedy stem bases. Fennel seed is sown in spring or autumn and plants will self-sow easily, but Florence fennel does best if seed is sown from August to December in warm temperate regions, and September to February in cold temperate climates.
For the year ending June 2020:
1. 1,345 tonnes were produced and valued at $2.7 million with 3% sent to processing.
2. The wholesale value of the fresh supply was $3.1 million, with $2.0 million distributed into retail and $1.1 million into food service.
3. 7% of Australian households purchased fennel, buying an average of 173 grams of fennel per shopping trip.
4. The supply per capita was 56 grams, based on the volume supplied.
The majority of fennel is grown in Australia, with the majority of production being used in the fresh market. Nevertheless, the Werribee region is especially known for its production.
Due to the minimal amount of trade that is carried out, there is not enough data to be recorded officially.