Native to the mountains of Iran and Turkmenistan, this herbaceous perennial is a member of the parsley family, Apiaceae, that also includes carrots, celery, and poison hemlock.  Growing from a thick taproot, the plant is about 3′ tall and has a smooth, hollow stem.  It has finely divided tripinnate leaves with a stout basal sheath clasping the stem.  In late spring  umbels of  small yellow flowers appear and produce seeds that ripen in summer.  A fetid yellowish-brown gum resin called galbanum is produced by the stem of the plant and is valued for its medicinal qualilties.  In addition,  the gum resin was used by the ancient Egpyptians and Israelites as an ingredient in incense.  The genus name, Ferula,  is the Latin word for the hollow light rod made from this plant and used for walking stick, splints, stirring boiling liquids, and corproral punishment.  The specific epithet, galbaniflua, comes from the Semitic word galbana, the gum resin produced by the plant and the Latin word fluo meaning flow suggesting the way it emerges from a wounded stem.Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Umbels of small yellow flowers in late spring

Size: 3.3′ H

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, medium moist to dry, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Care:  Make incisions in the stem to collect gum resin.

Pests and Diseases: Unavailable

Propagation: Fresh seed

Companion Plants: Other herbs such as rosemary, lavender, sage

Outstanding Selections: Not relevant

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen