Asafoetida alternative spelling asafetida,(icon) (also known as devil's dung, stinking gum, asant, food of the gods, giant fennel, hing and ting) is the dried latex
Latex is the stable dispersion of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium. Latexes may be natural or synthetic.Latex as found in nature is a milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants . It is a complex emulsion consisting of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins,...

 (gum oleoresin) exuded from the living underground rhizome
In botany and dendrology, a rhizome is a characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes...

 or tap root of several species of Ferula
Ferula is a genus of about 170 species of flowering plants in the family Apiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region east to central Asia, mostly growing in arid climates. They are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 1–4 m tall, with stout, hollow, somewhat succulent stems...

, which is a perennial herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

 (1 to 1.5 m high). The species is native to India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...