Ruta graveolens Rue. Woody perennial native to the mediterranean. Hardy to - 30 degrees F. This is a very showy landscape plant, with long-lived blooms of bright yellow giving way to oily pods that look like tiny oranges. One of the oldest of all magico/medicinal plants, Rue was used as a talisman to ward off contagion, malevolent spirits and fleas.
Growing the plant in your garden is said to bring financial rewards. In herbal medicine, the plant is considered stimulating, antispasmodic, and an emmenagogue. Wash hands or other body parts that contact the plant with soap after handling, as the plant can cause photosensitive dermititis in predisposed individuals. This mainly occurs if you really hug the plant in the full sun on a sweaty day, but in any case, you may wish to wear gloves (I don't).
- Plant prefers full sun in dry to mesic, well-drained soil.
- Sow in spring. Standard greenhouse culture or sow in a fine seedbed outdoors.
- Sow just below surface, tamp securely, keep evenly moist and in the light. Germ in 15 days.
- Thin or transplant to 2-3 feet apart.
Certified organic, 100 seeds/pkt.