Wild fennel or timpa fennel is an endemic Mediterranean plant with the scientific name Foeniculum vulgare. It is an edible plant used in local and Sicilian cuisine in general. Its leaves can be found in pasta with sardines and pasta with fava beans, while the less tender parts are used in pickled preserves and the seeds are found among the spices used to flavour sausage or desserts.
In antiquity, thanks to its medicinal properties, this plant was used to disinfect water and to give it a pleasant taste. This use gave rise to the custom of offering guests water and aniseed.