Latin Name: Ruta graveolens
Item #: 164B
RUE - Herb-of-Grace (Ruta graveolens - evergreen)
Perennial 24 in/6l cm Approx. 29,500 seeds per oz/28 g
Used as a herbal medicine for thousands of years. Rue is a hardy evergreen with aromatic foliage (a strong somewhat disagreeable odor) and a bitter taste. Stems are woody, spoon shaped smooth evergreen foliage is bluish-green in color, flowers are greenish-yellow and set in terminal panicles - usually blossoming from June until September. Just like chives, rue should be started indoors in late February for May transplanting outdoors.
CULTURE: Start seeds indoors in pots about Feb. 20th. Press seeds into the soil surface and cover lightly. Seeds should germinate at about 80% in 7-14 days at 60°F/16°C. Grow seedlings cooler at 55°F/13°C until mid May, then transplant pots outdoors. Plant along a garden border next to vegetables which have problems with aphids as it may help. Plants are dwarf and spreading the first season, averaging only 12 in/31 cm in height.
HARVEST: Plants can be harvested (foliage) several times a year before the flowers form. The herb is usually used fresh, but can be stored dry if you keep it in air tight containers. The medical virtues of rue are due to a volatile oil found in plant glands which is distributed over the entire plant. If you are prone to allergic reactions you should handle these plants and foliage carefully. Some people develop a long-lasting rash, similar to poison ivy. Plants increase in size the second season.