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Plant Is this wild fennel?

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
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I spot this stuff everywhere. It's all along the side of the roads and highways.
I suspected it's fennel simply because it looks pretty much identical to the fennel in the garden once it starts flowering.
It doesn't have quite the same fennel smell as the garden variety (not so much of a licoriche/aniseed smell).
It almost smells like it's half way between dill and fennel. I do believe they're in the same family so it would make sense that wild fennel might fit somewhere in between.
 

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
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Be careful mate, it has a poisonous lookalike.

Thanks for the heads up.

Are you referring to hemlock? Or something else I'm not aware of?

I still haven't yet tried it, even though I'm reasonably sure it's fennel. I do tend to keep checking and double checking before I try something, which is why I posted it here.
I have pulled a bit off and smelled it though.

From a distance I can see how they look a bit similar.... but up close the leaf structure is quite different.

This line sums up pretty much what I was thinking...

But fennel foliage is thready, whereas hemlock leaves are triangle shaped and lacy.
http://www.rootsimple.com/2013/10/bad-forager-mistaking-hemlock-for-fennel/

It does appear though that when fennel is younger and the threads of the leaves are shorter they do look more like hemlock than when they're long like they are at the moment. But even then looking closely it does appear you can tell that fennel still has the thready leaves.

If you google photos of both plants you can see the difference. Looking at the photos of hemlock I'm fairly sure I'd never mistake that for fennel, at lease not up close.

I've been watching this stuff throughout its life cycle for the past year or two. It does have a few differences to hemlock from what I can tell.

One difference is hemlock seems to have white flowers, while fennel has yellow flowers.

Seems backed up by this line:
And fennel has yellow flowers while hemlock has white flowers.
http://www.rootsimple.com/2013/10/bad-forager-mistaking-hemlock-for-fennel/

Next time I walk past it I'm going to snap one of the stems and smell it. The stem of fennel tends to be stronger in aniseed flavor and smell than the leaves.
Also, there's some normal fennel just started growing in the garden. I'm going to watch it grow (again, as I've grown it before) and again compare them.

From my limited knowledge the main difference between wild fennel and domesticated fennel is simply that wild fennel doesn't get the large bulb at the base (which has been selectively bred I'm guessing as it's the best bit to eat).
 
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Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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It looks like fennel to me.

GB - do you know what the look alike is ?
(Poison hemlock is the only possaibilty I can think of)
 

Greatbloke

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Sounds like you have it nailed there Lifecraft. I was going by memory with just a quick post on the iPad before I went to sleep. My Greek/Albanian friends Mum used to collect it from laneways around the inner suburbs of Melbourne where we lived.
 
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