Rue, Herb of Grace
Rue is a perennial evergreen plan growing up to 50cm high with woody stems and rounded compound leaves. It flowers in summer with yellow flowers and the leaves have a blue sheen.
All parts of the plant contain rutin and oils that are bitter and have irritant properties that may cause skin rashes. Small amounts of the leaves may be added to salads, cheeses, and drinks like grappa to give an aromatic, bitter flavour. Large quantities should be avoided as slightly poisionous. Modern use is as a pesticidal and repellant herb planted amongst vegetables. It is unattractive to most insects and an infusion of rue sprayed onto other plants will repel insects. Dried twigs of rue can be hung to repel flies. The root produces a red dye.
- Rue in flower
- Rue will grow from seed sown in spring or autumn and has been known to self seed. It can also be grown from cuttings taken in spring. It likes well drained full sun positions and will tolerate poor soil. It does not like wet or shaded positions. It can become woody after several years and will require good pruning. It is a good hedging plant. It is preferable not to plant with Sweet Basil but historically was planted with Fig Trees.