More Information About Ferula
The genus Ferula contains just over 200 species in the same family as carrots and Queen Anne's lace (Apiaceae). Despite the common name, ferula is not a true fennel (genus Foeniculum) and should not be eaten. Ferula is native to arid regions of the Mediterranean, and western and central Asia.
The wispy foliage of Ferula is topped after a few years of growth by a very large 6' flower stalk containing many yellow, unpleasant-smelling, hemispherical flower clusters. Ferula flowers attract huge numbers of butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects...an entomologists dream plant. The energy required for Ferula to produce such a flower stalk and fill it with seeds is so great that it usually kills the parent plant. The parent can be saved by removing the flower stalk early enough so that the plant builds up energy reserves to successfully over-winter.
Ferula flower stalks are pithy and hollow on the inside. The pith fibers burn slowly which allowed the ancient Greeks use them as torches. In Greek mythology, Prometheus brought fire to humanity on a ferula flower stalk torch. When you are ready to buy ferula for your garden, check out our list of ferula for sale.