Ferula communis

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Giant Fennel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ferula
Species: F. communis
Binomial name
Ferula communis
Ferula communis - MHNT

Ferula communis (the giant fennel) is a species in the genus Ferula of the Apiaceae. It is related to common fennel proper, which belongs to another genus (Foeniculum).

Ferula communis is a tall herbaceous perennial. It is found in Mediterranean and East Africanwoodlands and shrublands.[1] It was known in antiquity as narthex.[2]

In Sardinia two different chemotypes of Ferula communis have been identified: poisonous (especially to animals like sheep, goats, cattle, and horses) and not-poisonous.[3] They differ for both secondary metabolites pattern and enzymatic composition.[4]

The name of the phenolic compound ferulic acid comes from the giant fennel Latin name, where the compound can be isolated.


  1. ^ Flora of Israel Online entry
  2. ^ Kandeler, R.; Ullrich, W. R. (2009). "Symbolism of plants: Examples from European-Mediterranean culture presented with biology and history of art: MARCH: Silphion and narthex". Journal of Experimental Botany 60 (3): 715–717. doi:10.1093/jxb/erp041. PMID 19269995.  edit
  3. ^ Verotta, editor, Luisella (1997). Virtual activity, real pharmacology : different approaches to the search for bioactive natural compounds. Trivandrum, India: Research Signpost. ISBN 9788186481172. 
  4. ^ Zucca, Paolo; Sanjust, Enrico; Loi, Martina; Sollai, Francesca; Ballero, Mauro; Pintus, Manuela; Rescigno, Antonio (June 2013). "Isolation and characterization of polyphenol oxidase from Sardinian poisonous and non-poisonous chemotypes of Ferula communis (L.)". Phytochemistry 90: 16–24. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2013.02.019. 

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