The seeds yield an excellent aro-matic oil, which is carminative, resolvent, and diuretic, without heat-ing the body : on account of these valuable properties, as well as for Us strong, pulpy, and esculent root, this plant is industriously cultivated on the Continent: it delights in a rich, but not too moist soil; and the seed is put in the ground soon after it becomes ripe.
There are two varieties of this excellent vegetable reared in Italy, both of which might be cultivated in Britain ; namely, 1. The dulce, or sweet fennel; and 2. The azo-nicum, or Italian fennel. The former easily degenerates, and requires a frequent supply of seeds produced on its native soil; the latter is a delicious plant, the stalks of which, according to Bechstein, are thick, pulpy, and from four to five inches broad: they are highly esteemed by the Italians, who blanch and eat them as salad, prepared with flour, vinegar, and pepper. Hence the popular adage in that country, according to which " fennel and bread are the Italians' repast."