Ruta graveolens

Thought to be a protector against witchcraft and absorber of negative energy, this aromatic perennial can be used sparingly in cooking, but can be toxic in large doses and contact with the skin can cause photosensitivity. 9x9cm pot (8cm depth)

9x9cm pot (8cm depth)

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  • Aromatic
  • Magical herb
  • Pollen for bees
  • Easy to maintain

An old and important medicinal herb, rue is strong and distinctive and has not enjoyed use in more recent times because of the need to use it with care. The attractive lobed blue/green leaves have long been used for purification and cleansing ceremonies and it is thought to absorb negative energy. It is disliked by cats.

Plant care

  • Height: 60-100cm
  • Type: Hardy
  • Aspect: Sun
  • Soil: Any/alkaline
  • Flower colour: Yellow
  • Flowering period: July - August

An easy perennial to grow in a sunny site, rue is happy either in the ground or pots. In the winter the top leaves and stems tend to become quite bedraggled by the weather, but by March it is showing signs of new growth along the lower parts of the stem, the old top growth can then be cut back. Rue can make the skin sensitive to sunlight and there have been instances of people suffering burns whilst gardening with bare arms next to rue - with this in mind it is better planted away from paths and thoroughfares.


The flavour of rue is strong and distinctive and has not been a popular addition to food in more recent times. It is still popular in the drink ‘Grappa Ruta’ an Italian rue infused wine and in some African countries. It has a reputation as a protector against witchcraft and is used as a purifier as it is thought to absorb negative energy.
It has been used extensively as a medicinal herb to help regulate the menstrual cycle and soothing the muscles of the digestive system, easing griping spasms in the bowel. Rue oil is a powerful abortifacient and the plant should be avoided during pregnancy.



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