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Fennel

This hardy perennial has feathery leaves and is either bronze or green in colour. It is reputed to promote strength and courage, and also longevity. Snakes were reputed to eat fennel to help them slough their skins and horses could be caught if fed this in gingerbread. In medieval times fennel was hung above doors on Midsummer's Eve to ward off evil spirits. From Midsummer onwards it produces bright yellow flowers and looks very similar to dill. It is an important culinary herb, having an aniseed flavour it is useful for fish or vegetable dishes. It is believed to be useful in treating eye complaints, strengthening sight. Taking an infusion of leaves and seeds is said to relieve tired eyes.