A transition from Peru to Topanga via wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). This plant is in the same growth stage on both continents right now. You can find wild fennel naturalized on every continent, except Antarctica. Its young flexible stalks, feathery greens and seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, tasting anise-like. I stuffed the avocado above with fennel potato salad. Take your favorite potato salad recipe and load it up with lots and lots of wild fennel greens and stalks. The prickly phlox (Leptodactylon californicum) flower is NOT edible, but is blooming profusely in Topanga right now…its sweet smell lured me in to include it in the photo.
The above photo was taken at a market in Cuzco, Peru. The photo below shows fennel (all-green fronds near the middle of the picture) being sold at market. I also saw fennel for sale at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Wednesday.