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It's hard to describe the stunned amazement when we first encountered giant fennel in the wild during a 2010 expedition on the Greek island of Crete. The amazing stalks, with diameters approaching a human arm, soared 8' in height, topped with massive panicles of softball-sized golden-yellow flower heads. These mammoths are impressive even without the lacy, rich dark green, fine-textured basal foliage which by itself is enough reason to grow giant fennel. It usually takes 3-4 years for giant fennel to flower, after which some plants may die, especially where the soil is poorly drained. The drought-tolerant giant fennel grows equally as well in acidic or alkaline soils. In parts of the Pacific Northwest, we have seen reports of giant fennel reaching a towering 15' in height...so be sure to contact the FAA before planting one if you live near an airport. The non-edible Ferula communis is related to common edible fennel, which, however, belongs to a different genus: Foeniculum vulgare.