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Ruta graveolens

Pronunciation: ROO-tuh grav-ee-OH-lens
Family: Rutaceae
Common Name: Rue, Common Rue, Herb of Grace
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • perennial
Height to: 3ft (1m)
Width to: 3ft (1m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid summer
Bloom Description: Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) bear paniculate clusters of small yellow flowers that are held well above the foliage and often covering most of the plant. Each flower is about 0. 5 in (1. 3 cm) across with four concave notched petals. Rue usually grows in a compact, rounded mound.
Soil Type: Thrives in poor sandy soils, and hot, dry sites.
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
  • Container Gardening
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) can be propagated from tip cuttings taken in autumn and started in moist sand. Seeds sown in spring germinate in about 14 days and will produce plants that flower in their second year. The seeds should be exposed to light, not buried.
Native to: S.E. Europe
Winter Sowing Zones: 4-8
Notes for Identification:

Rue is an attractive "ever bluish green" shrub, and a standout in the herb garden. It's often included in herb gardens just for its historical interest. Rue responds well to pruning - it can be shaped into a rounded mass and used in borders and beds, where it goes well with light colored flowers. Use rue to create a low hedge around the herb garden, as a specimen in the rock garden, or a border in a knot garden. Prune back to the old wood in spring to encourage bushiness. An attractive container plant, rue is often grown in a pot on the patio or on a sunny windowsill. Good drainage is essential to prevent root fungus problems.

Although they are bitter in large quantities, small amounts of rue leaves added to cream cheese, salads and egg dishes impart a pleasant musky flavor. Dogs and cats (as well as witches and evil spirits) hate the smell of rue. The dried and crushed leaves can be an effective insect repellent.

A caterpillar host plant for Anise Swallowtail,  Eastern Black Swallowtail and the Giant Swallowtail

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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