Ferula asafoetida

Asafoetida has historic uses as a vegetable, digestive, and flavour enhancer with a rich history in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cuisine. Many people find the odor offensive, even stomach turning, but knowing how to use this interesting plant can add authenticity to Indian menus. Leaves and young shoots are cooked as a vegetable and considered a delicacy and the starchy root is used to make a porridge. Along with its medicinal properties, a little-known fact about asafoetida is its use as a secret ingredient in Worcestershire sauce!

Water: Regular to occasional watering

Hardiness: Disappears in winter

Habit: A perennial herb that bears attractive curly, lacy foliage and interesting flowering umbels that can enhance the garden, growing 6 to 10' tall

Light: Full Sun

Soil: Tolerant of a wide range of soil consistencies as well as pH, but good drainage is essential

Origin: Afghanistan and into Eastern Persia, now Iran