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Asafoetida is the English name for the dried latex exuded from the rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula, a perennial herb that grows 1 to 1.5 m tall. It is part of the celery family Apiaceae. Asafoetida is thought to be in the same genus as silphium, a plant now believed to be extinct, and was used as a cheaper substitute for that historically important herb. The species is native to the deserts of Iran and mountains of Afghanistan, but is mainly cultivated in nearby India.