Q: What is this? I saw it in my garden on a fennel plant. It was coming out of the stem.
A: The brown tuft is just new leaves emerging from the top of your bronze fennel plant.
Eventually you’ll get something emerging that looks like a green capsule that will open up to make the fennel flowers.
Bronze fennel is not only a good source of herbs for your cooking but I find it very attractive in the garden as well. As an added benefit it’s a great place to find ladybugs who scurry among the thin leaves looking for a few aphids to eat.