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Ferula narthex is a perennial plant that can grow up to 2.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
W. Asia - Afghanistan to Pakistan.
Grassy slopes at elevations around 3600 metres in Tibet[
Succeeds in most soils[
]. Requires a deep fertile soil in a sunny position[
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
The whole plant is very strong-smelling[
Plants have a long taproot and are intolerant of root disturbance[
]. They should be planted into their final positions as soon as possible.
Leaves and young shoots[
]. Used as a pot-herb[
The gum obtained from the roots is used as a condiment[
The gum resin obtained from the root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, expectorant and nervine[
]. It is used in the treatment of asthma, whooping cough, flatulent colic, and in pneumonia and bronchitis in children[
The leaves are carminative and diaphoretic[
The plant has recently been investigated as a potential contraceptive[
The root is a source of the gum 'asafoetida'[
], it is used as a condiment and as a medicine. It is obtained by incision of the roots[
Seed - best sown as soon as the seed is ripe in a greenhouse in autumn[
]. Otherwise sow in mid spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions whilst still small because the plants dislike root disturbance[
]. Give the plants a protective mulch for at least their first winter outdoors.
Division in autumn. This may be inadvisable due to the plants dislike of root disturbance.