Wednesday, July 15

Garden Pic Wednesday: Herb-of-Grace

Or Common Rue. It's also called Garden Rue, German Rue or Countryman's-treacle. It's formal name is Ruta graveolens L.

Common Rue
This herb is my newest plant acquisition this year and it's quite striking looking with it's lacy leaves and blue-green color.
It's classed as a medicinal herb, though I'm growing it strictly as an ornamental shrub in particular to attract Giant Swallowtails, because it's a menu item for their caterpillars.
 In my climate, it will winter over as an pretty evergreen and should grow to around 24 inches tall & broad.
 It's hasn't flowered yet, but I understand it does flower
 small yellow blossoms that are reputed to be quite unpleasant smelling. The plant itself is also reputed to repel many insects.

One thing to know about Rue is it should be handled with gloves and long sleeves when planting it.
 The leaves have an oil in them that is irritating to the skin, like a very slight stinging or burning, and can cause a rash if not washed off promptly.

According to general informationI I read about it, Rue is originally from Europe and has been used in folk medicine for centuries. A tea could be made from the dried leaves and was used as a remedy for gastrointestinal issues, among other things. But, too much Rue, and it will cause exactly the gastrointestinal issues it was meant to treat!
 Apparently, nowadays, this herb and the oil are used as a “flavor component” in a wide variety of processed foods and beverages, though in tiny minute quantities.
Who knew?
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That's it for today!
Stop back for Mama Kat tomorrow! I believe something about "coffee" will be my topic of choice!

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