Fennel is an herb in the parsley family that is native to the Mediterranean now naturalized throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
The powdered seed lends a mild anise-like flavor and aroma to soups, stews and other foods.
The powered seed is also used as a flavoring agent in natural toothpaste.
Fennel, also known as finocchio and marathon, is a member of the Apiaceae family original to the Mediterranean region and now naturalized elsewhere.
As a cousin to celery and carrot, fennel is also cultivated for its bulbous root-stock, which is treated as a vegetable.