What’s the giant yellow plant that just appeared in the garden?
It’s fennel, also known as anise. And, yes, it’s the same fennel they sell for cooking.
Did you plant it?
No, it’s common all over California, although it’s native to Europe. It’s considered an invasive species due to the fact that it grows so easily and quickly here, and crowds out native species.
So why don’t you get rid of it?
Number one – it grows too fast for me to pull out, and I don’t use poisons in my gardens.
There are also many benefits to having it in the garden:
- The bees love it
- Swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on it. (If you pick some, make sure to check for little black caterpillars before taking it.)
- It smells really good, a little like licorice.
- You can use it in cooking (especially with fish)