Foeniculum vulgare

Foeniculum vulgare_ fennel_JM DiTomaso_cropped
Photo: 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?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Foeniculum vulgare Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Foeniculum vulgare_growth habit_copyright 2009_NealKramer
    Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) growth habit. Photo: &#169 2009 Neal Kramer
    Foeniculum vulgare_inflorescence (umbel)_copyright 2009_NealKramer
    Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) inflorescence (umbel). Photo: &#169 2009 Neal Kramer
    Foeniculum vulgare_leaves and stem (bolting)_copyright 2015_NealKramer
    Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) leaves and stem (bolting). Photo: &#169 2015 Neal Kramer
    Foeniculum vulgare_seeds(mature)_copyright 2008_NealKramer
    Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) seeds (mature). Photo: &#169 2008 Neal Kramer