Wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. Vulgare) is a perennial aromatic herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region and currently it iscultivated as an annual or perennial herb worldwide. Dried ripe fruits are commonly used plants part for obtaining essential oil. Fruits oil of wild fennel contains many volatile oils, such as α-pinene, phellandrene, p-cymene, fenchone, estragole, anethole and anisaldehyde. Important biological activities of the volatile oil of fennel fruits are hepatoprotective, hypotensive, anticancer, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, hypoglycemic, spasmolytic, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and C.N.S activities. Wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. vulgare) is categorized as rare and endangered in the Egyptian flora due to urban sprawl, especially along northern coastal area and it has turn into a retreat in Egypt. Therefore attempts were made to find in vitro germination of its seeds as well as to explore the ability of organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis in the produced callus. In order to continue the micropropagation process, transplantation of developed plantlets to the soil was also investigated. This study also looks into the production of different medicinally valuable volatile oils in the formed calluses and micro-propagated plants.
Key words: Wild fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, seed germination, callus production, somatic embryogenesis.