A spear enveloped in vine-leaves

giant fennel

The Romans called the hollow light rod made from this plant a ferula (compare also fasces, judicial birches). Such rods were used for walking sticks, splints, for stirring boiling liquids, and for corporal punishment.

The ferula also shows up in mythological contexts. The main shaft of a thyrsus was traditionally made from this plant, and Prometheussmuggled fire to humanity by hiding it in a ferula as well.

The leaf aqueous-ethanol extract of Feruia foetida has shown antioxidant and antihemolytic activities

The thyrsus, associated with Dionysus (or Bacchus) and his followers, the Satyrs and Maenads, is a symbol of prosperity, fertility, hedonism, and pleasure/enjoyment in general.[1] It has been suggested that this was specifically a fertility phallus, with the fennel representing the shaft of the penis and the pine cone representing the "seed" issuing forth. The thyrsus was tossed in the Bacchic dance:

 

 

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May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016

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