There are two varieties of fennel: Florence fennel and common fennel.
Florence fennel has a broad, bulbous base that has a sweet delicate flavour that becomes even less pronounced after cooking. The base and stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. The fronds can be added to dishes as a garnish or added at the last minute to boost flavors.
Common fennel is the variety of the plant that produces fennel seeds. Fennel seeds can be purchased whole or ground, and are used in both savoury and sweet dishes.