Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, is a tender perennial grown in Minnesota as an annual herb. It can be direct sown or started indoors and planted in full sun. Fennel grows to over 3 feet tall and has a unique anise/licorice flavor that is used in a variety of dishes. The seeds can be used in breads, sauces, and pickling. Leaves and young stems are used in salads and stuffing for fish. Florence fennel. Foeniculum vulgare varietyazoricum, is grown for the succulent bulb that grows at the base of the stalk. The fennel bulb is eaten raw or cooked like a root vegetable.