or =Florence fennel= (F. dulce, D. C.), deserves special

mention here. It appears to be a native of Italy, a distinct dwarf

annual, very thick-set herb. The stem joints are so close together and

their bases so swelled as to suggest malformation. Even when full grown

and producing seed, the plant rarely exceeds 2 feet. The large, finely

cut, light green leaves are borne on very broad, pale green or almost

whitish stalks
which overlap at their bases, somewhat like celery, but

much more swelled at edible maturity, to form a sort of head or

irregular ball, the "apple," as it is called, sometimes as large as a

man's fist. The seeds are a peculiar oblong, much broader than long,

convex on one side and flat on the other, with five conspicuous ribs.

Cultivation is much the same as for common fennel, though owing to the

dwarf nature of the plant the rows and the plants may be closer

together. The seedlings should be 5 or 6 inches asunder. They are very

thirsty things and require water frequently. When the "apple" attains

the size of an egg, earth may be drawn up slightly to the base, which

may be about half covered; cutting may begin about 10 days later.

Florence fennel is generally boiled and served with either a butter or a

cream dressing. It suggests celery in flavor, but is sweeter and is even

more pleasingly fragrant. In Italy it is one of the commonest and most

popular of vegetables. In other European countries it is also well

known, but in America its cultivation is almost confined to Italian

gardens or to such as supply Italian demands in the large cities. In New

York it is commonly sold by greengrocers and pushcart men in the Italian