Foeniculum vulgare

Foeniculum vulgare_ fennel_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: fennel; sweet fennel; sweet anise

Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) is an erect perennial herb (family Apiaceae). Although the plant is very common throughout the state, dense local populations have been reported from Santa Cruz Island, in fields around the San Francisco Bay region, Palos Verdes Peninsula (Los Angeles County), and Camp Pendleton (San Diego County). It can drastically alter the composition and structure of many plant communities, including grasslands, coastal scrub, riparian, and wetland communities. It is still unclear whether culinary varieties of fennel are invasive.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

  • Klinger, R. (2010). Desire, disappointment, surprises, and food webs: melding conservation and ecological perspectives to better understand animal-invasive plant interactions. Cal-IPC 2010 Symposium Ventura, CA, California Invasive Plant Council
  • Power, P., J. R. Roberts, et al. (2010). Successful tactics for controlling invasive fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) on Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park. Cal-IPC 2010 Symposium. Ventura, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Liu, H. (2009). Assessing the effects of Foeniculum vulgare on seedling germination, soil legacy effects and restoration strategies. Cal-IPC Symposium 2009. Visalia, Ca, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Olesen, C., D. Doran, et al. (2009). Evaluating the seed bank of a disturbed site to determine potential ecological restoration strategies. Cal-IPC Symposium 2009. Visalia, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Dahlin, K., G. Asner, et al. (2008). Using airborne remote sensing to map sweet fennel on Santa Cruz Island. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2008. Chico, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Gwinn, A. (2006). The cost and effectiveness of small-scale fennel control methods. Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Easley, T., D. Bieber, et al. (2005). The fennel battle on MCB Camp Pendleton: Partnerships and techniques in combating the invasion. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Bell, C. E., K. Roesch, et al. (2004). Finding effective herbicide treatments for fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2004). Partnering to prevent invasions of plants of horticultural origin. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Dickerson, E., C. Brigham, et al. (2004). Ecohelpers: Education and ecological restoration in Southern California. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Erskine, J. (2000). The plant community effects of a burn and two herbicide sprays on a fennel infested grassland in the Central Valley of Santa Cruz Island, California. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2000. Concord, CA
  • Gibson, J. K. (2000). The presence of fennel affects the distribution of lizards on Santa Cruz Island. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2000. Concord, CA.
  • Archbald, G. (1998). Mechanical control methods: beyond weed bashing. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.
  • Boyd, D. (1995). Use of fire to control French broom. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '95. J. Lovich, J. Randall and M. Kelly. Pacific Grove, CA.

Other Foeniculum vulgare Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.