Stef asked about Fennel recently in a comment.
Here's some information:
What we call "seeds" are actually the fruit of the plant. These "seeds" (i'm going to have a hard time changing my ways) are used alot in conjunction with sausage and fish. Give them a whack to crack them a bit before tossing them into a dish to let their flavors out. Our Giant sells the Fennel Fruit with a candy coating in the international "Indian" section. Might have to give that another look next time around. I think the Quakers in this country chew it in this country when in their meetings???? I'm probably wrong and grossly uneducated.
The leaves and stalk of the plant can be eaten as a vegetable, and I've done this as a salad before, it's very mild in flavor. Extra crunchy!!!
It's a member of the Parsley Family.
Sweet and Aromatic, the flavor and scent are similiar to anise.
Mediterranean in origin.
Some countries do not distinguish between fennel and anise.