Umbelliferae Foeniculum vulgare Mill. var. piperetum (DC.) Bail.
Source: Magness et al. 1971
The plant is similar to Florence fennel, which see, except that the base of the leaf stalk is not thickened. The young stems are enclosed in a sheath formed by the bases of the petioles or leaf stems. Stems and young leaves may be eaten raw or used for flavoring other foods. In general habit and use, Italian fennel resembles celery. It is rarely grown in the United States.