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Rue Ruta graveolens

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ROO-tah grah-vay-OH-lens
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Ruta graveolens, or Rue, is a small (3 foot high), bluish, shrub-like, perennial herb with aromatic fern-like, leaves. It grows well in full sun, moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soil. It is a hardy plant that is deer resistant and tolerates drought, dry and rocky soil. Avoid wet soils and surround with mulch during the winter in northern zones. Prune back plants to old wood in early spring. Rue is usually grown as an ornamental because of its blue-green foliage and because the leaves are toxic, despite the plant's history as a medicinal herb.

People do, occasionally, add Rue leaves to salad, but it is strongly aromatic and toxic when ingested in large quantities, so should be used sparingly. The taste is strong and bitter.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur, particularly in poorly drained soils. Wear long sleeves and gloves when pruning or handling the foliage.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Herb & Flower Cottage Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#drought tolerant#perennial#herb garden#deer resistant#ornamental interest
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#drought tolerant#perennial#herb garden#deer resistant#ornamental interest
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ruta
    Species:
    graveolens
    Family:
    Rutaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The growing or the dried plant can be used to repel insects.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern Europe and the Balkans
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer and drought resistant
    Edibility:
    Sparing use of leaves as flavoring or in salad. Toxic when ingested in large quantities.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Small dull yellow flowers in terminal, erect clusters.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are aromatic when bruised, deeply lobed and appearing 2-pinnately divided, gland-dotted, and fern-like. Leaves have a bitter taste.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Contact with the skin will cause short-term irritation and you should wear gloves when working with the plant. Ingestion can cause stomach pain, vomiting, exhaustion, confusion, and convulsions and can be fatal.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Furocoumarins; rutin, a volatile oil; alkaloids; coumarin derivatives.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves