Ruta graveolens (Rue)
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Rue has a lovely blue/green foliage and is evergreen. It produces small yellow blooms in the spring. It is short-lived (5-6 years), but re-seeds to perpetuate itself. Its biggest value lies in the fact that it is one of the favorite host plants for the Black, Anise and Giant Swallowtail butterflies. The caterpillars devour the leaves but usually the plant recovers without issues.
Rue is easy to grow as long as it is provided with good drainage and is planted in full to part sun. It prefers moderately fertile soil and dry to medium moisture but will adapt to poor soil as long as it is well-draining. It is drought tolerant once established. Prune rue back in early spring. Leaves are toxic if ingested. Handling plants may cause dermatitis.
AT A GLANCE
|Water use||Low to medium|
|Sun exposure||Full sun to part sun|
|Mature height||2-2.5 ft|
|Mature spread||2-2.5 ft|
|Host plant||Black, Anise and Giant Swallowtail butterflies|
|Poisonous||Yes, if ingested.|
|Notes||Handling may cause dermatitis.|