The tough stalks of the giant fennel of Southern Europe were used by the Roman schoolmasters as an instrument of castigation.
Ferrule” must be distinguished from “ferule” or “ferula,” properly the Latin name of the “giant fennel.
At the roadside on either hand there were still and ever tall withered thistles and giant fennel with yellow umbels.
In one corner was a giant fennel that reminded one of a lace-dressed lady spreading out a sunshade of sea-green satin.
Old English fenol, finul, perhaps via (or influenced by) Old French fenoil or directly from Vulgar Latin fenuculum, from Latin feniculum, diminutive of fenum, faenum "hay," probably literally "produce" (see fecund). Apparently so called from its hay-like appearance and sweet odor.