BOTANICAL NAME: Foeniculum vulgare. Translates to common (vulgare) little hay (foeniculum), the latter of which refers to the shape of fennel leaves.
ORIGIN: Thought to have originated in Italy, fennel was a favourite food and medicine of the Romans.
DESCRIPTION: There are at least two main types of fennel. There is a huge difference between the pungent, roadside weedy fennel and the much-loved, sweet garden Florence fennel, which is also called Finocchio, and has large, swollen stem bases.
Check with your Italo-Australian connections for fennel seeds such as Cantino and Carosella.