silphium (n.)

plant genus, 1771, from Latin, from Greek Silphion, name of a North African Mediterranean plant whose identity has been lost, the gum or juice of which was prized by the ancients as a condiment and a medicine. Probably of African origin.

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Definitions of silphium from WordNet

Silphium (n.)
tall North American perennial herbs;
Synonyms: genus Silphium