If you are looking for a low maintenance plant that has attractive foliage and flowers and attracts wildlife, consider planting fennel.  Fennel was planted in the pollinator garden at the Extension office in Bay County as a butterfly host plant for swallowtail butterflies in 2014 and has been a showstopper ever since. Fennel is a short-lived evergreen perennial that will reseed in the garden, but it is easy to remove plants if you get too many. It performs well in full sun to light shade and is quite drought tolerant once established.

The fernlike foliage has a delicate texture that contrasts with most landscape plants. Large umbels of tiny yellow flowers reach for the sky each spring and attract lots of pollinators and butterflies to the garden. Fennel is a culinary herb and leaves, flowers, and seeds can be used to season dishes with the mildly licorice flavor.

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