by Stephen Mifsud
   6 Feb 2023      ()
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Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   (Fennel)

Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare  (APIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 06-Feb-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgareMill.
Published in Gard. Dict. ed. 8, no. 1 (1768)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Foeniculum dulce Mill.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Apiaceae Lindl. (=Umbelliferea) (The Carrot Family)
34 species from the Apiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Finnochio

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: HEMICRYPTOPHYTE ( prostate plants with flowers close to the ground )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

May – October

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

vulgare subsp. vulgare:

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

Plants which forms rusty-brown leaves when young at the top of the branches have been assigned as forma rubrum. They are more frequent in Gozo (e.g. at Qala), although they are quite rare or localised now. There is also another variety or land race referred to as convar. azoricum (Mill.) Holub which forms swollen or enlarged stems at the base just above ground for edible uses. Recently, they are cultivated more frequently in Malta and seen at markets.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Steppe and wasteground mainly near agricultural areas and anthropogenic activity (esp. roadsides and rural pathways); often abundant if close to sea
Preferred habitat in Malta: Disturbed ground, wasteland, roadsides, footpaths in agricultural areas, abandoned fields and steppe. Ruderal species
Botanical Description: Glabrous, glaucous biennial up to 250 cm. Stem striate, shiny, developing a small hollow when old. Leaves more or less triangular in outline; lobes usually 10-50 mm, flacid, filiform, acuminate, cartilaginous at apex, usually widely spaced and not all lying in one plane; petioles of upper leaves usually 3-6 cm. Terminal umbel not overtopped by lateral ones. Rays 12-25. Bracts and bracteoles usually 0. Fruit 4-10.5 mm, ovoid-oblong; lateral ridges scarcely more prominent than dorsal. Seeds sweet-tasting
Distributional range: Most of Europe, except the north, but probably native only in the south and south-west.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Ireland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part), Introduced in  Austria and Liechtenstein, Belgium, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia and former USSR, C W E K
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? Ab(A) Ag Al Ar Az BH Bl(I M N) Bu dCa(C F G H L P T) Cg Co Cr Ct Cy Eg Ga(F M) Gg Hs(A G S) Ir It Jo Le Li Lu Ma Md(M P) Mk Rf(CS) Sa dSi(M) Si(S) Sl Sn dSr Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [aAu(A) nAu(L) Az(C F G J L M P S T) Be(B L) nBr Cs aDa aFe nGe nHb(E) cHu cIr cLe Mo aNo aSk Sl aSu Uk(U)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

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Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (11 images)
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-0.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-1.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-2.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-3.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-4.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-5.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-6.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-7.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-8.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-9.
   Foeniculum vulgare subsp. vulgare   -   Image Code: FOEVU-10.

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