Ferula communis - Giant fennel

 

 

Giant fennel (Ferula communis)  - Click to enlarge

Giant fennel (Ferula communis)

Beetle in a Giant fennel (Ferula communis)  - Click to enlarge

Beetle feeding on a Giant fennel

Bee in a Giant fennel  - Click to enlarge

Bee in a Giant fennel

Bee in a Giant fennel  - Click to enlarge

Bee in a Giant fennel

Giant fennel (Ferula communis) on the roadside

Giant fennel (Ferula communis) along the roadside

Giant fennel is not a true fennel (Foeniculum vulgare which also grows in Crete) but it resembles fennel. It is however much taller. It commonly reaches 2 m in height but can be as tall as 3 meters.

This spectacular plant is common at lower altitudes along roadsides, on waste areas and abandoned cultivated land and flowers from March to June. The plants always attract huge colonies of insects,  beetles and bees.

The fleshy stems burn slowly and were used as torches in antiquity. It is with such a torch that, according to Greek mythology,  Prometheus brought fire to humanity

You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

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