Ferula communis is a tall herbaceous perennial. It is found in Mediterranean and East African woodlands and shrublands. It was known in antiquity as Laser or narthex.
In Sardinia two different chemotypes of Ferula communis have been identified: poisonous (especially to animals like sheep, goats, cattle, and horses) and not-poisonous. They differ for both secondary metabolites pattern and enzymatic composition.
The name of the phenolic compound ferulic acid comes from the giant fennel Latin name, where the compound can be isolated.
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^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. PMID19269995.
^Verotta, editor, Luisella (1997). Virtual activity, real pharmacology : different approaches to the search for bioactive natural compounds. Trivandrum, India: Research Signpost. ISBN9788186481172.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
^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. PMID23523329.