Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rue the Day: An Easy Herb for Growing In the Garden


To 'Rue the Day' is to feel regret, remorse, or sorrow, but I promise you will not rue the day if you grow rue. Most all plants growing can be considered herbs if they have a use, either medically or culinary. Rue, aka Ruta graveloens is definitely an herb. "It was first mentioned by Turner in his Herbal in 1562 and has since become one of the best known and widely grown simples for medicinal and home uses." (Botanical.com) I found a great deal of information about rue from the Botanical.com website. History can be very interesting when it involves plants-okay everybody with me say, "Yeah right!" Anyhow, as herbs go, rue is a neat one.

I picked my little specimen up while on a garden tour in Hopkinsville a few years ago. I don't think I've ever seen it in a big box store (my kind of store), but I am sure it would be easily accessible at nurseries specializing in herbs, such as my friend
Diann's Herbal Greenhouse here in Clarksville.


My rue has happily grown in a partly shaded area for about four years now. The one thing it does have good going for it (not its light conditions as most herbs need full sun) is the fact the area is well drained since it is in a raised bed on the upside of a slight slope. This herb would not like wet feet. It is a sub shrub, meaning it does not die back to the ground like herbaceous perennials. It behaves like lavender and 'Powis Castle' artemesia in my garden. It even is semi-evergreen and has nice blue gray foliage that provides some structure all year. The bloom is pictured above. It is not fancy at all, but hey, it is a bloom.

I have read that if the oil of a bruised or damaged rue leaf gets on your skin, it can cause skin irritation. This has not happened to me. Good thing since the poison ivy does enough damage as it is now. If I did ever get a rash from the rue, I might indeed rue the day I planted it....

in the garden....

22 comments:

  1. There is a lot of rue's at the end of other flower names, I find it so interesting the help they provide for 'good health'

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had rue at one time, but I can't recall where it was transplanted! I've noticed that some of the big box stores are carrying a wider variety of herbs. Maybe they are getting how important gardening is to us!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tina -- Nice info on rue. I've never grown it. I'll bet it is even deer resistant.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  4. There's another herb I don't have yet! It looks nice and if it behaves like 'Powis Castle' it would be a fun one to have!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a rue and I like its foliage. I haven't seen it bloom because wherever I move it seems too shady. Right now a shrub is covering it... I'll need to move it again. I don't know where I got mine, probably from seed!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have had rue before, but don't have it now. I think I'll add it to my list. At the moment I'm trying to restrain myself from buying, as the yard is covered in pots of plants while Robert works. I can hardly get to the flower beds for the lumber. Once this is done, I can go to town!
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  7. Have never tried rue but it sounds interesting. Have always wanted to make a little round herb garden but I don't cook much so it would be purely decorative.
    Marnie

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is not a herb I'm familiar with Tina. I think the tiny yellow blooms are sweet & the history of plants always intrigues me. ;) Glad you aren't rueing the day on this herb, lol

    ReplyDelete
  9. I learned something new again :) I don't think I've heard or this type of rue. It does have very pretty foliage.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lotsa cute rue and rueing today.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Tina~
    Another interesting post! I've never seen this rue plant before. It sounds like a good addition to the garden. The blooms are so sweet looking!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've never heard of rue before, but it looks like a wonderful plant. Nice too that it hasn't irritated your skin!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've heard of this plant but never had one. Will put it on my list. I like the little yellow blooms.
    So glad you've not had a reaction to it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. hallo Tina, liebe Grüsse von Kathrin aus Bremen

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've never seen this one either or heard of it for that matter. The foliage does look like a nice color and shape. Very informative and as usual I've learned something new here. But then there's so much I don't know to start with. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Tina,
    Here in zone 5b, SE Nebraska, my rue dies back in the winter, but with a trim, it fills back in nicely. I already had 3 plants, one in a pot, but last year, when I got into watching and taking pics of caterpillars and butterflies, I got a couple more. The swallowtail cats loved the rue, and did not hurt the plants with their eating.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wondered what happens to rue in colder climates; now I know. Harking back to an earlier comment: you wouldn't want to cook with rue, as large amounts can be toxic. In small amounts, it used to be recommended to improve eyesight; it has a very sharp, somewhat bitter but not unpleasant (to my tongue) taste.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Tina, I used to grow rue in the other TN garden as I was heavy into herbs there. It was added here last year as part of the fairy garden and has done well if sort of small. It is now blooming like yours. I would not eat it ever though, strictly for ornament and caterpillars. It is said to offer protection against the ne'er do well fairies that steal babies and maidens! Since we don't want those kinds of riff raff fairies here it seemed like a good addition. Our fairies are the nice ones that bring good luck to the gardens. Your rue means that you are protected too. :-)
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  19. Interesting info, Tina. There's also a meadow rue I've seen that grows much larger and has pink blooms. I wonder if it has medicinal purposes, too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi everyone, for sure do not cook with rue. I have never used this herb in this way. I don't get too adventurous preferring to use most of the tried and true herbs for cooking (oregano, sage, chives, basil and thyme). This rue is purely ornamental in my garden. Being a plant collector I thought I'd share it with you all in case you were not familiar with it. I see many are not, however a few are. And be careful of the oils! Won't want to rue the day....

    ReplyDelete
  21. My new thing learned for the day! I have heard the expression of Rue the Day but never knew it was an herb plant! I like the tiny flowers and if caterpillars like it, I may add it to the garden for them...

    ReplyDelete

ALL SPAM WILL BE PROMPTLY FRIED. PLEASE DO NOT LIFT PHOTOS OR WORDS. THANKS!