Giant Fennel (Ferula) - Very graceful umbelliferous plants long known in our botanic gardens, their charm consisting in large tufts of the freshest green leaves in early spring.
It is even richer in more herbaceous plants tolerant of a hot summer; giant Umbelliferae (such as Ferula) are especially characteristic and yield gum-resins which have long been reckoned valuable.
China has no Cistus or heath, only a single Ferula, while Astragalus is reduced to 35 species.
Quercus Ilex, the evergreen oak of southern Europe, is found in forests as far east as the Sutlej, accompanied with other European forms. In the higher parts of Afghanistan and Persia Boraginaceae and thistles abound; gigantic Umbelliferae, such as Ferula, Galbanum, Dorema, Bubon, Peucedanum, Prangos, and others, also characterize the same districts, and some of them extend into Tibet.
This ferula, mentioned by Luitprand of Cremona in his account of the deposition of Benedict V., and the baculus aureus of the Historia dedicationis ecclesiae cavensis (Acta Sanctorum, 4 March, i.