Where can I buy rue plants

Ruta graveolens (Rue) Herb Plant

Rue (Ruta graveolens) Herb in 1 Litre Pot

Rue (Ruta graveolens), also known as Herb-of-Grace is native to southeastern Europe it is in fact a shrub but looks more like an herbaceous perennial. It is generally grown as a specimen on its own in herb gardens but it can be grown a a small informal hedge in a herb garden to divide it up. Nowadays, it is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens, especially because of its bluish leaves, and also sometimes for its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions.

Growing up to 60cm, this perennial will produce a mass of bright yellow flowers in midsummer. WARNING – caution must be exercised when handling it as it may cause blisters especially if handled in sunlight, wear gloves when handling.

Herb Usage

It was used commonly as a herb in Near Eastern and Roman cuisine, and used as a traditional flavouring in Greece and other Mediterranean countries, In Croatia, and in Northern Italy, for instance it is used to give a special flavour to a version of Grappa and most of the time a little branch of the plant can be found in the bottle. This is called grappa alla ruta.

In the middle ages the Catholic church used a bunch of Rue to sprinkle holy water on the congregation, hence it’s common name ‘Herb-of-Grace’ ironically Rue was also a common ingredient in witchcraft and spell making, in fact during the Middle Ages it was a symbol of recognition between witches. It is also Reputed to be an insect repellent, and apparently Cats also do not like the smell of the leaves so could be tried as a cat deterrent. Although it can be used in cooking, it is bitter and gastric discomfort may be experienced by some individuals so not recommended, grow it as described for its ornamental qualities.

Buy Rue Online

Our Potted Rue herb plants are generally available to buy online between March and September.

Herbal danger: You’ll rue taking rue

The small, flowering evergreen shrub with a bitter smell known as rue, ruda, ruta, or Herb De Grace, can be found in many parts of the world. Historically, it has been used medicinally, as a flavor ingredient in foods and beverages, and as a fragrance additive in the manufacturing of soaps and cosmetics. Rue has received literary mention in Gulliver’s Travels, Hamlet, and Harry Potter, and is considered by some to be protection against witches and spells. Distinguishing myth and truth in the medical use of rue is essential for your safety and health – especially if you’re female.

Rue can be dangerous for pregnant or nursing women. The herb can cause uterine contractions and miscarriage. If used to induce an abortion it can have serious side effects, including death, for the mother and baby. Other side effects include stomach problems, kidney and liver damage, and, when applied to the skin, rashes and increased sun sensitivity.

Because of its side effects, its best to avoid using this herb as a remedy, as it has not stood the test of time. This despite its use as a treatment for many ailments, including as a tea for menstrual disorders, gastric upset, headaches, parasites, and topically for sprains, skin inflammation, and to repel insects. Rue is, alas, still readily available from herbal websites, and in the “botanicas” or medicinal shops where many Latinos go to buy traditional remedies passed on by their heritage and grandmothers. Do not use internally in small children or the elderly, and do not take rue together with medications to lower blood pressure.

Here are a few other important points to remember when considering using herbal treatments.

• Marketing promises like “all natural” or “organic” do not mean a plant is safe, nor that it is safer than a properly prescribed medication
• Be skeptical of private label supplements or sales of herbs in bags with no labels.
• Look for USP verification on the label when you buy herbs or supplements to ensure purity, dosage, quality, and decreased possibility of contamination or adulteration of that product
• Do not take herbs or supplements with prescription drugs without discussion with your physician or pharmacist, or the advise of an integrative physician

See our report on whether it’s safe to buy supplements in botánicas and our advice on five popular supplements.

“Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the mockingjays that sing in the trees.” ―Katniss Everdeen on Rue

Rue was the 12-year-old female tribute from District 11 who was selected to participate in the 74th Hunger Games. She is described as being small and easily underestimated by other tributes. Rue had formed an alliance with Katniss after warning her about a nest of tracker jackers. Rue decided to trust Katniss partly because of the pin she wore over her heart, the famous mockingjay pin. Katniss avenges Rue when Marvel kills her. As a memorial of Rue’s death, Katniss covered her in flowers and sang to her until she died, indicating to the Capitol that Rue was not just a piece in their games. Rue is remembered by Katniss in various parts of Catching Fire and Mockingay.


Rue and Thresh are described in the book as having dark skin and brown hair. Rue worked with great effort in the orchards in District 11. She would always work from sunrise to sunset, alongside the other citizens of her district. Rue was the oldest child in her family. She has 5 younger siblings.

Despite her size, she was able to jump from tree to tree in the orchards, even on the most slender branches. Her considerable agility and skill at traveling through the tree tops are probably the reason she earned a good score after her private session.

She was able to climb the tallest trees in District 11, allowing her to see the flag signaling quitting time first and sing her four note song when work was over. This tune was picked up by the mockingjays in the area, which spread the message through the orchards, letting the others know that the working day was over. Rue claimed that these mockingjays were her special friends.

Rue’s family.


Rue and Thresh in their Tribute Parade costumes.

Rue with Cato’s stolen knife in the Training Center.

Rue was chosen during the reaping at the age of 12 for the 74th Hunger Games along with Thresh, District 11’s male tribute. When Rue was chosen, her district escort asked if anyone would like to volunteer for Rue’s place, but the district answered with silence, and the only sound that could be heard was the wind. Katniss was deeply disturbed by this, as she was the same age and size as Primrose, her sister.

Training and Interview

Rue watches Katniss and Peeta in the Training Center.

Rue, along with her tribute partner, dressed up as a farmer to represent their district’s industry, which is agriculture, during the tribute parade. During the training sessions in the film, Rue showed her swift and silent abilities by swiping Cato’s knife while he wasn’t looking causing him to attack another tribute, much to the amusement of her district partner, Thresh. While all the tributes are training, Rue observed them closely

Thresh and Rue waiting for their interviews.

to see their strength and weaknesses, Katniss and Peeta in particular. Peeta informs Katniss they have “a shadow,” Rue peeks out of a corner and, in response, Katniss and Peeta smile at her. She managed to get a seven out of twelve in her private session with the Gamemakers. It is likely she showed them her skill to move about along treetops swiftly and unnoticed, although this belief was never confirmed.

Rue’s interview.

During her interview with Caesar Flickerman, she told him not to count her out because she’s fast, and if they can’t catch her, they can’t kill her. Caesar replies by saying he wouldn’t count her out in a million years. He then concludes Rue’s interview.

The Games

In the arena, Rue managed to stay alive by staying off the ground, much like Katniss did. She used her extensive knowledge of plants to collect food. She also got a backpack from the Cornucopia in the beginning of the Games, but it contained little because she ‘had to get away from the Cornucopia fast’ and she likely retrieved it at the edge of the clearing. She found a sharp shard of rock she used as a knife. She made a slingshot for herself as well. Her pack contained a small water skin and an extra pair of socks she used to keep her hands warm during the cold nights. Her following of Katniss in the training center continued in the arena. It is implied that she had followed Katniss even before the tracker jacker incident.

After the forest fire (in which many of the tributes, including Rue and Katniss, suffer burns) Rue climbs a tree to avoid the approaching Career pack. Noticing Katniss treed nearby, she alerts her to a tracker jacker nest on a higher branch. In the morning, Katniss alerts Rue that she is about to drop the nest; Rue nods, and leaps from tree to tree, to get out of range once the wasps are unleashed.

After the tracker jacker attack, Rue continues following Katniss. While Katniss is attempting to make a fire, she hears a branch crack and she knows it’s Rue because she sees her boots sticking around the tree. She tells Rue the careers aren’t the only ones who can make an alliance. Rue comes out from behind the tree and says she can heal Katniss’s tracker jacker wounds with leaves. Katniss is relieved by her wounds being fixed and offers Rue treatment for her burns. Rue says Katniss has good sponsors, for that is where she got the burn ointment, and Katniss asks her if she had gotten anything yet, to which Rue replies no. Katniss tells Rue not to worry because the more she advances in the Games the more sponsors will recognize her for her survival skills. Katniss offers her a groosling leg which surprises Rue, who has never had a whole leg to herself. Katniss and Rue talk about their life in their district. After the conversation, Rue explains to Katniss about the career’s camp and the strategy they have for protecting food and supplies. This gives Katniss the idea of evening the playing field between them and the careers by destroying their supplies.

Rue and Katniss share a laugh while bonding in the arena.

Rue said she trusted Katniss when she saw that Katniss was wearing a mockingjay pin. She then proceeded to help Katniss with her plan to destroy the career alliance’s food. Katniss devises a plan with Rue; Rue must act as a decoy and light up three fires to distract the careers away from the camp site, while she destroys the food somehow. Rue manages to light the first fire, but soon after the second fire was lit, Rue stumbled into a trap set up by Marvel, who speared her through the stomach with his spear just before Katniss reached her. In the movie, Katniss reaches her and cuts her down before Marvel throws a spear through her stomach. After Katniss killed Marvel, Rue’s dying wish was for Katniss to sing to her. Katniss honored her wish and sang until she died. Furious with the Capitol for allowing an innocent child to die, Katniss covers Rue’s body with beautiful white colored flowers. Before she leaves, she makes District 12’s gesture of farewell to Rue. After Rue dies in the film, a rebellion starts in District 11, where the citizens have a small uprising to avenge Rue’s death, her being from their district and being so young to be forced into the Games.


“I’m hard to catch. If they can’t catch me they can’t kill me. So don’t count me out.” ―Rue to Caesar in the interview

From her spot in a tree, Rue points out the tracker jacker nest to Katniss.

Rue’s main tactic in the Games was to stay off the ground. Her ability to move swiftly and silently through the trees allowed her to stalk the other tributes and gain information about them without being noticed.

Since most of the tributes could not climb trees, they would have extreme difficulty in killing her, which gave Rue a massive advantage. Also, most of the other tributes are too big to climb as high as she can.

Rue was not able to hunt, but this was not a problem, as she used her wide knowledge of plants and berries to find food. She also did not need as much food as the Careers, as she was used to poverty.

In a way, Rue’s tactic slightly mimicked that of Scavengers by following stronger predators and preying on the information she got from spying on them.


Rue reveals herself to Katniss.

Rue reminded Katniss of her sister, Prim. Like Prim, Rue sometimes stood on her toes with her arms slightly extended. Katniss describes her as “birdlike” and after the Games can barely look at Prim without noticing Rue in her and being reminded of her death. Small, quick, intelligent, and young, the two had many similarities, which led Katniss to make Rue her ally. Katniss has remarked that Rue is very observant. Quite soon after Katniss asked Rue for an alliance, Rue agreed, saying she had already made the decision to trust Katniss because of her mockingjay pin.

The two worked together to survive, and learned much about each other and their districts. They shared stories together and became close, although their alliance was short lived. Like Katniss, Rue was able to find edible and medicinal plants in the arena. Among the edible plants she found were some berries and roots. She was also able to pick out the leaves of a plant that could help extract tracker jacker venom out of Katniss’ wounds. When it came time to eat, Rue was shy in taking such a large quantity in food, saying that she had never had a whole leg of groosling to herself. However, Katniss insisted that she take it along with the other leg, feeling pity for the younger girl.

The first and only night that the two spent together, Rue was surprised by the sleeping bag that Katniss had gotten in the beginning of the Games. When Katniss asked how she had kept warm every night, she said that she would pull out her extra socks and put them on her hands. Rue examined the contents of Katniss’ pack and explained what some of the things were. Rue told Katniss about the night vision glasses that Katniss had gotten, which Katniss mistook for sunglasses at first, and how important the glasses were in Rue’s district. Rue was very comfortable with Katniss, which was indicated by the fact that she immediately snuggled up close to her in the sleeping bag. When Rue told Katniss about the mockingjays in her district, Katniss offered her the gold mockingjay pin that Madge had given her, but Rue told her to keep it because it was how she knew that she could trust Katniss. Rue’s district token was a small hand woven necklace that was her lucky charm.

Katniss and Rue knew that the Careers needed to be eliminated, and the only way they could possibly make that happen was to take away their ample food and other supplies. At first, the feat seemed nearly impossible, but Katniss and Rue concocted a plan with the intention of destroying or even stealing the supplies. Rue, being the smaller of the two, was in charge of setting three fires in various areas in the forest. This would distract the Careers and get them moving as Katniss would try to figure out a way to get their precious supplies. Katniss and Rue decided to communicate by fires and the mockingjays. Rue would sing her four-note melody to let Katniss know that all was going well. The four-note melody was also the tune that Rue sang to the mockingjays in District 11 to signal the end of the work day; because she worked so high in the trees, she was the first of the workers in the orchard to know when it was time to go home.


“Can you sing?” ―Rue

Katniss decorates Rue in flowers after her death.

Rue died soon after Katniss’ successful attempt to destroy the Careers’ stash of supplies, while she was creating her diversion. After lighting the first two fires, she stumbled upon a net on her way to start the third and final fire. After following the sound of the mockingjays, Katniss found Rue trapped in a net. But the moment she heard her name escape Rue’s lips, Marvel speared Rue in the abdomen, earning him an arrow through the neck (through the heart in the film), as Katniss tried in vain to save her. Katniss rushed over to Rue and cut her out of the net and put Rue’s head on her lap. Katniss held Rue’s hand as a lifeline as if it were she who were dying and Rue holding her. Rue asked if she blew up the food and Katniss confirmed that she destroyed everything. Rue pleaded for Katniss to win and Katniss promised she’d win for the both of them. When Marvel’s cannon fired, Rue told Katniss to stay with her and Katniss lingered right by her side. As a last wish, Rue asked Katniss to sing to her, and Katniss sang a lullaby that she used to sing to Prim, until Rue’s eyes fluttered shut and she died. The mockingjays soon picked up Katniss’s song and sang it through the entire arena.

To show the Capitol that Rue was more than a piece in the Games, Katniss covered her corpse in brightly colored flowers she found nearby to cover up her wounds and her body. As a final goodbye, Katniss gave her the same farewell salute that the entire District 12 gave Katniss when she left for the Games, placing the three middle fingers of the left hand to her lips, then lifting her arm out toward Rue. The gesture was often used by the residents of District 12 at funerals, signifying respect and admiration. District 11 then sends Katniss a loaf of bread as a gift of appreciation. This would end up leaving a lot of people in District 11 going hungry that night and it was unheard of to send a gift to a tribute that was not from your own district but they felt they owed Katniss something. It was later speculated that the loaf of bread was in fact meant for Rue but as she died they thought they would give it to Katniss as a sign of respect and appreciation.

In the film, Katniss pulled Rue out of the net and hugged her, and Marvel threw the spear at Katniss but hit Rue instead; Marvel was shot in the chest by Katniss, who turned to Rue as she pulled the spear out of her body and fell to the ground. Katniss then began to sing to her and she died, and decorated her body with flowers after her death. She then saluted District 11, where a riot ensued. Rue placed 7th out of the 24 tributes.


Concept art for Peeta’s portrait of Rue in Catching Fire.

At the end of The Hunger Games, it was mentioned by Katniss that when the Capitol showed Katniss and Peeta the video of the 74th Hunger Games, they did not show the part where Katniss puts the flowers on her body as the flimmakers thought that smacks of rebellion.

In Catching Fire, when Katniss and Peeta are on their victory tour, she thanks Rue for everything she has done for her. Katniss says that she feels Rue is still with her and that everything beautiful brings Rue to mind. Katniss then thanks District 11 for their tributes, Rue and Thresh. Katniss tells Thresh’s family that she admired him for being solitary, and even when the Career tributes wanted him, he turned them down. This made them smile.

Later, when asked by the Gamemakers to show his skill for the 75th Hunger Games, Peeta painted Rue covered with flowers on the floor, earning a 12 from the Gamemakers. Also adding on to the rebellion that Katniss was trying to keep him out of.

And later, Katniss describes to Peeta her only “good” dream since the Games, explaining how she followed Rue as a mockingjay, singing and “talking.” Peeta asks where Rue was taking her, to which Katniss replies, “they never arrived, but they felt happy.”

Rue, during the 74th Hunger Games Victory Tour.

In the arena, Katniss remembers Rue’s vast knowledge about plants and realizes that a distinct disadvantage to being a District 12 tribute is that they don’t get to learn their district’s main purpose and skills until they are 18, while the other tributes from other districts learn it at a young age. While watching Haymitch’s Hunger Games video tape, and after watching Maysilee Donner’s death on the tape, she remembers how Katniss as well was “too late to save Rue.”

Further in the book Katniss thinks a lot about Rue (also when she saw Prim being interviewed standing, like ready to take a flight) and she is also mentioned.

In Mockingjay, Katniss compiled a memory book about all the people who died because of the Hunger Games, including Rue.

Physical description

“And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor.” ―Katniss Everdeen, while watching Rue’s reaping. Being the youngest of the tributes at the age of 12, Rue was naturally the smallest – but this still gave her a massive advantage for being light on her feet and agile. Suzanne Collins has stated that Rue is African-American, with

Amandla, Rue’s actress.

thick dark hair, dark satiny brown skin and “golden eyes.” She always stood leaning forward, on her toes, with both arms slightly extended as though she was about to take off flying. This is how Prim, Katniss’ sister, also stood, which brings back memories of Rue whenever Katniss sees her own sister. This stance made her look like a bird, ready to take flight. Her swift and almost invisible movements through the treetops added to the bird-like description. Rue says that what she enjoys most in life is music, something which greatly confuses Katniss when she considers the hardship Rue has endured on the fields in District 11. She is described as 4′ 8.”

Rue’s pre-games interview costume is described as a sheer dress with shimmering gossamer wings.


Rue was the eldest of six children. She had five younger siblings, all living in poverty in District 11.

She usually gave her food rations to her younger siblings, and foraged in the fields to provide more food for them. District 11 has very strict laws and Rue could be punished for helping her family in this way. On the Victory Tour (in Catching Fire), Katniss sees Rue’s family and her siblings look just like Rue. Her parents were also seen weeping. A man in the back whistles her four note tune, and started a small uprising. The man was shot shortly after. After Katniss sees the man get shot, she hears two more shots, which could possibly mean someone in the family was killed or wounded. At the Quarter Quell, Seeder assures Katniss that Rue’s family is safe.


Katniss Everdeen

“I’m going to. Going to win for both of us now.” ―Katniss, to Rue

Rue asks Katniss to sing to her before she dies.

Rue and Katniss had a loving relationship. Katniss formed an alliance with her and took care of her as well. She was deeply cared for by Katniss. Rue told her everything about her, like her favorite thing in the world is music. Katniss felt empathy and pity for her. Katniss demonstrated her love for Rue by crying and mourning her death and covering her body in flowers at the time of her death to show that she was ‘more than just a piece in their games’ .

Katniss trusts Rue because of her similarities to Prim and her gentle demeanor. Katniss also felt pity and empathy for Rue, being forced into the arena at such a young age. She also realized she could trust Rue because she watched over her while she was asleep from the Tracker Jacker venom. One of the reasons Rue said she trusted Katniss, was because of her mockingjay pin.

Rue and her bonded the night Katniss awakened from her tracker jacker injuries. Rue received a groosling leg from Katniss, after she refused the first few times. Katniss and Rue tell each other about their life and district. Rue told her about the Career’s camp and this helps her with her plan.

Rue trusted Katniss when she saw that Katniss had on a mockingjay pin. She then proceeded to help her with a plan to destroy the career alliance. But soon after the second fire was lit, Rue stumbled into a trap set up by Marvel, who stabbed her through the abdomen with his spear while Katniss ran to save her. After dispatching Marvel, Rue begged Katniss win and to sing to her as she died. As an act of defiance and a way to honor Rue’s death, Katniss covers Rue’s corpse with brightly colored flowers and gives her District 12’s farewell gesture, of the three middle fingers pressed to the lips and held up.


“For the little girl.” ―Thresh, on Rue Thresh liked Rue and took pity on her since she was so young and nice and felt she did not deserve to be forced into the games. They seemed to have a fairly close friendship, as Thresh was infuriated and saddened by her death. During training in the film when Rue stole Cato’s knife (which caused him to attack another tribute), Thresh looked up and smiled at Rue knowing it was her. During the feast, Thresh overheard Clove taunting Katniss about Rue and taking credit for her death, and was enraged by this, Thresh pushed Clove off Katniss and held her above the ground by her throat, yelling accusations at her. Terrified, Clove insisted she didn’t kill Rue (this is true, as it was Marvel who killed her), but Thresh didn’t believe her, and crushed her skull with a large rock (although in the film he bangs Clove against the Cornucopia until her neck breaks), avenging Rue’s death. Due to Katniss’ alliance with Rue, Thresh spared her life, suggesting that he cared for her.


Rue had a sweet nature, loving those close to her, and hated to see them hurt. Her greatest joy in life was music, and she loved singing with the mockingjays at home. The mockingjays liked her and were used to her a few were even her special friends because she was the one who sang a four-note melody that signaled the end of a work day out in the fields. She was excited at the prospect of adventure – one character trait that she does not share with Katniss’ sister, Prim. When in the training area Rue is shown to be a very cheeky young girl with a sense of humor because she stole Cato’s knife (a scene only shown and mentioned in the film).

She is also very observant of her surroundings, noticing every piece of information she saw when spying on the Careers.

Rue fully understood the inhumane and brutal nature of the Hunger Games, and refused to sink down to the level of the others. Instead of attacking at the first sight of other tributes, she spied and gathered information that helped her and Katniss form a plan on how to wipe out the Careers. Katniss supplied a bit of emotional support to Rue, giving her the hope that maybe it wouldn’t be all bad.

It is also her personality that set her apart from Prim. Prim could not stand to see anything get hurt and would have definitely not been able to harm anyone in the Games, but Rue was ready and willing to go forth with the plan, seeing it as an adventure. Teaching Prim to hunt was a disaster, with her crying over the shot animal and wondering if there was time to rush it home and nurse it back to health, whereas Rue was prepared to do whatever to survive. Rue was also very bird-like, the way she was able to move swiftly through the trees without being noticed.


“Like me, she’s clever with plants, climbs swiftly, and has good aim. She can hit the target every time with a slingshot.”- Katniss on Rue’s skills in the Training Center.

Rue had a talent for singing; her greatest joy was music. During work she would sing to the mockingjays and they would sing back. She was also able to whistle a four note song which had meaning in her district that the day of work was over.

Exceptionally talented at climbing, she could silently jump from one tree to another without being noticed; Katniss compared her skill to that of the birds. Rue was able to stalk and track Katniss and other tributes during the Games to gain information and no one picked up that they were being followed or watched by her. Also, she climbed to the top of the rafters during training after stealing a knife from Cato in the film.

Rue was also intelligent. She was able to survive by herself before she formed her alliance with Katniss. She survived mostly on roots and berries that she found and discovered could be eaten. She was expected to have survived by staying off the ground and hiding in trees. She was very observant as well, picking up every small and important detail about the career’s camp and some useful information about other tributes.

Rue was very talented with a slingshot.


Rue’s tribute token was a grass necklace with a wooden star, used as a good luck charm in the Games. She received a water skin and an extra pair of socks from the Cornucopia that she used to keep her hands warm. She also made herself a slingshot, which seemed to be of good quality, and a knife that she made from a sharp shard of rock.


Rue’s mutt was one of the creatures that appeared at the end of the 74th Hunger Games. It was described as the smallest of the wolf-mutts with a dark brown coat. It also wore a woven collar made of plant fibers. Rue’s district number, 11, was woven into the collar as well. Her mutt seemed to have no connection to Katniss whatsoever, as it tried to kill her like the rest of the Mutts.


Rue is named after a small mountain flower called ruta graveolens. Considering the flower is also known as “herb-of-grace”, it may explain Rue’s delicate touch and gentleness.

Rue’s character poster.


  • Rue received her name from a small mountain flower (Ruta graveolens), just as Katniss received her name from a waterside plant, and Prim received her name from a bush (Primrose bush). Symbolically, both Ruta graveolens and primrose blossoms close at night.
  • There was some backlash from the public at the casting of Amandla Stenberg, an African American actress, when it was first announced, but Stenberg merely responded that she was glad to be a part of the film.
  • In the promotional posters, almost every character is looking left, with the exception of Katniss (who is looking right) and Rue (who faces left but is looking down).
  • Rue foraged for food in the Meadows before the Games, which is a very serious offense in District 11.
  • If Katniss had not volunteered for her sister, Prim, there would have been at least two 12 year old girls participating in the 74th Hunger Games from the poorer districts.
  • She was the shortest female tribute in her Games.
  • In the film, she received the lowest number of odds to win the games, 60-1, possibly due to her height.
  • Her odds of winning are shown to change from 60-1 to 7-1 in the film.
  • At the start of the Games, Rue runs away from the Cornucopia, as she tells Katniss while looking at Rue’s supplies.
  • Rue was the only 12 year old in the 74th Hunger Games that survived after the bloodbath, despite being the tribute with the lowest odds.
  • Rue trusted Katniss because of her mockingjay pin.
  • In the book, Rue is the one to show Katniss the mockingjay signal, but in the film, it is Katniss that shows Rue.
  • Rue reminds Katniss of Prim. Both Rue’s and Prim’s deaths heavily affected Katniss.
  • Rue’s cannon is never heard in the film.
  • Rue survived for 9 days in the book and for 6 days in the film.
  • Rue, Thresh and Marvel are the only named deceased tributes from The Hunger Games to appear in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
  • In a deleted scene from the film, Rue confesses to Katniss that she has a crush on a boy in her district.

  1. Peeta’s Mural of Rue Featured In HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Concept Art
  2. Karen Valby (2011-04-07). Team ‘Hunger Games’ talks: Author Suzanne Collins and director Gary Ross on their allegiance to each other, and their actors — Exclusive. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2011-04-13.
The Hunger Games trilogy
Novels The Hunger Games • Catching Fire • Mockingjay
Main Characters Katniss Everdeen • Peeta Mellark • Gale Hawthorne • Haymitch Abernathy • Effie Trinket
Supporting Characters Primrose Everdeen • President Snow • Cinna • Mrs. Everdeen • Mr. Everdeen • President Coin • Claudius Templesmith • Madge Undersee • Paylor • Plutarch Heavensbee • Seneca Crane
Tributes Marvel • Glimmer • Cato • Clove • Foxface • Thresh • Rue • Maysilee Donner • Titus
Past Victors Annie Cresta • Beetee Latier • Blight • Brutus • Cashmere • Cecelia • Chaff • Enobaria • Finnick Odair • Gloss • Johanna Mason • Lyme • Mags Flanagan • Morphlings • Seeder • Wiress • Woof
Groups Rebellion • Gamemakers • Prep team • Tributes • Victors
Locations Panem • The Capitol • District 1 • District 2 • District 3 • District 4 • District 5 • District 6 • District 7 • District 8 • District 9 • District 10 • District 11 • District 12 • District 13
Behind the Scenes Suzanne Collins • Gary Ross • Francis Lawrence
Films The Hunger Games (film) • Catching Fire (film) • Mockingjay – Part 1 • Mockingjay – Part 2

Holistic Primary Care

Victor Sierpina, MD, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

MIAMI—In an effort to help educate non-Hispanic health care professionals about Hispanic herbal practices, Drs. Loera and Sierpina are working on a book that combines traditional knowledge with data from the German Commission E monographs and other non-Spanish source books. To aid dialog with Spanish-speaking patients, the book will contain side-by-side English and Spanish text.

They offered the following brief descriptions of some commonly used herbs in Latin American communities, but urged physicians to remember that the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” encompass an extremely broad range of cultures, geographic climates, and healing traditions. Patterns of herb use can vary widely among different Hispanic sub-groups.

• Cumin (Cumimum cyminom): Known as Comino in Spanish, this popular cooking spice is often used medicinally by Latin Americans. As a tea, it is taken as a carminative, stimulating gastrointestinal musculature to expel flatus and ease GI spasm. Some people also use it as an antibacterial plaster to treat minor wounds. There are no published adverse effects or drug interactions with cumin taken either internally or applied externally.

Rue (Ruta graveolens), known as Ruda in Spanish, is a useful antispasmodic for menstrual cramps. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), called Ajenjo, is used for the same indication, and also to destroy parasites, hence its name. © 2000 stevenfoster.com.

• Rue (Ruta graveolens): Called Ruda in Spanish, this herb contains a tangy alkaloid-rich oil that is used as an antispasmodic and muscle relaxant. It is most commonly given to treat menstrual cramps, but some Hispanic herbalists also recommend chewing the leaves to treat intestinal parasites. In concentrated doses, oil of rue can be hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic, and it can also be an abortifacient. There are no known interactions with conventional pharmaceuticals.

• Sage (Salvia officinalis): Latin Americans have discovered many uses for this plant, which grows widely in the Southwestern US and many parts of Latin America. Topically, it is an excellent antibacterial and astringent, and some people make a plaster of sage which is used to curb excess perspiration. It is also used for mucositis and gingivitis. Because it contains caffeic acid, sage is also an appetite stimulant. There are reported cases of tachycardia with its use, and it is not recommended for pregnant women.

• Spearmint (Mentha spicata): Latin Americans refer to this as Yerba Buena or “good herb.” It contains L-carvone and a flavinoid called thymonin, which is an excellent carminative. Spearmint is a pleasant and inexpensive means of stimulating GI muscle activity and can be used to expel flatus, relieve hiccoughs, and relieve nausea. Most often, it is taken as a tea. There are no known adverse reactions or drug interactions with spearmint tea, though topically-applied spearmint oil can cause localized dermatitis in some patients.

• Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis): Millions of Americans of all ethnicities now keep aloe plants growing in their kitchens as a quick source of first-aid for burns. But the gel in this plant is also excellent for relieving common gastrointestinal complaints, including gastritis and esophagitis. “I give it to my patients who cannot afford proton-pump inhibitors or H2 blockers,” said Dr. Sierpina. The proper dose is 30 ml of the juice or between 50–200 mg of dry aloe per day. “Too much and you can induce diarrhea,” he said.

• Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Spanish speakers often refer to it as Manzanilla, and it is probably the most popular herb among Latin Americans, who use it to reduce stress and anxiety and relieve minor GI complaints. It is antispasmodic and mildly sedating, and can be safely used in children. Because it is related to the daisy, patients with known allergic reactions to daisies, asters or chrysanthemums should probably avoid chamomile. Other than this, there are no known adverse effects or drug interactions.

• Wormwood (Artemisia absinthum): Known as Ajenjo in Spanish, this herb has a somewhat undeserved bad reputation owing to widely publicized psychoses induced by Absinthe-drinking in turn-of-the-century Europe. In retrospect, this may have reflected wide consumption of “pseudo-absinthe,” poorly processed Artemisia extracts colored with far cheaper copper sulfate. Wormwood does contain thujone, which can be neurotoxic in high concentration. In some Hispanic communities, Ajenjo is still widely used, taken as a tea to treat menstrual cramps, indigestion, heartburn, and to destroy intestinal parasites (hence the plant’s name).

Though neither Dr. Sierpina nor Dr. Loera have seen adverse events associated with wormwood use here in the US, Dr. Loera said some of his colleagues in Mexico have seen neurotoxicities.

Informative article about the spice Rue, its botany, chemistry, history and cross- cultural culinary usage. (View the names of this plant in 65 languages). It is often cultivated as a garden ornamental and as a medicinal plant. Rue was brought to Mexico by the Spanish, and is still used for “spiritual cleansings”. The rue plant (Ruta graveolens), also known as Ave-grace, garden rue and herb of grace, is part of the Rutacaea plant family. Rue is a.

Translate Rue plant. See Spanish-English translations with audio pronunciations, examples, and word-by-word explanations. Ruda plant. A kind of Basilica. A strong-scented European perennial herb with grey-green bitter-tasting leaves; sometimes used for flavoring. Ruta graveolens , commonly known as rue, common rue or herb-of-grace, is a species of Ruta grown as an ornamental plant and . stand the smell of the English Yahoos (people), so he stuffs rue or tobacco in his nose.

The rue plant (Ruta graveolens), also known as Ave-grace, garden rue and herb of grace, is part of the Rutacaea plant family. Rue is a. The rue plant is used in baths, candles, and carried in pouches for protection, Santeria is a belief system that combines African and Spanish. The Spanish name for Rue is Ruda. Growing Rue Herb: Tips For Rue Plant Care – The rue herb is considered to be an old fashioned herb garden plant.

The Spanish name for Rue is Ruda. Known as Rue (Ruta graveolens, Herb of Grace) Rue as an Herb | Belly Bytes Herb Tattoo, Plant Tattoo, Body Painting. This is the name of a plant found in Brazil used for medicinal purposes. English translation:Rue, or Ruta graveolens, from the Greek rhute. Common Names of the Plant. Rue, Common Rue, Herb of Grace, Country Man’s Treacle, Herbygrass – English Rue Fétide, Rue officinale, Herbe de Grace -.

Learn more about Rue uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain Rue. Thanks to Spanish and British colonialism, the rue herb made its way into in much of North America where it has become a naturalized plant. The rue herb (Ruta graveolens) is considered to be an old fashioned herb garden plant. Once grown for medicinal reasons (which studies have.

A Plant Study

Common Rue
Ruta graveolens L.

by Anete B. E. Effting

Common names of the plant


I. Perception of Rue: giving strong support to bear whatever comes

Observing Rue through the Twelve Windows of Plant Perception

Form, Gesture, Signature

Botanical Plant Family



Medicinal Uses and Risks

Herbal Lore, Mythology, Folk Wisdom, Culinary Uses

Four Elements

Cosmic and Earthly Relationships

Daily and Seasonal Cycles


Field Study Sketches

II. Artistry with Rue: pressed flowers and arrangements

Bibliographic References

Common Names of the Plant

Rue, Common Rue, Herb of Grace, Country Man’s Treacle, Herbygrass – English
Rue Fétide, Rue officinale, Herbe de Grace – French
Weinraute – German
Arruda, Arruda Fedorenta, Arruda Doméstica, Arruda dos jardins, Ruta de cheiro forte – Portuguese
Ruda, Ruda de Monte, Arroda, Erruda – Spanish


The specimen I observed has been planted for four years in the balcony of my apartment, on the 8th floor, facing East. There is a special reason why I chose it: four years ago, when I moved to this apartment, I was going through a very turbulent period of my life. One of the first plants I was drawn to plant on my balcony was this Rue, which is well-known for dying easily if there are negative energies present. What actually happened is that it seemed to feed on that very negative energetic environment, thriving to become a beautiful and healthy plant and, most importantly, making me feel a level of protection that helped me through those difficult times. Therefore, I owe a debt of gratitude to the Rue that has warded me off for so long. I like to think that I was chosen by it, and not the other way around.

I. Perception of Rue: giving strong support to bear whatever comes

The four-year old plant is well-established and has not been transplanted during this period. I purchased it as a seedling and the only maintenance has been mulching and removing dead branches. When the stalks became too long to bear its weight, they were pruned a few inches above the root level, and new sprouts would start growing right away.

Rue is an evergreen shrub about 80 cm (3 ft) tall, with individual round stalks that shoot up right from the base. Some of them split in two, but most are single stems, with a cluster of leaves at the distal end of the stem – about three quarters from the base. Some stems are tall and slender, measuring between 60-80 cm (2-3 ft). The stalks are hard, with a diameter ranging from 6-10 mm (2-4 in) covered with scars at regular intervals, showing where leaves that have fallen off used to grow. The bark and leaves have a similar aroma. When broken, the bark shows a very thin, dry, paper-like external layer that has a sandy color which can easily be peeled off with a nail. Immediately underneath, the next layer is light green, soft and moist, and can be peeled off as well. The next layer is somewhat dryer and of a faded green, almost white. This layer is very tough and dry, and cannot be peeled off. I tried to break it open with my nails and was able to split it. This rather “hard shell” showed a very soft and well protected white compact core, with a consistency that reminded me of bread dough. What called my attention was the fact that these layers were completely different from one another both in color and consistency, in spite of being extremely thin, and the drier layer enveloped the softer one. The region that bears leaves has a completely different tone, a light green that matches the leaves, and the color transition from green to beige is abrupt. Also, this “green” area is rather soft and juicy. It seems to me that when the leaves fall off, there is no longer a need for so much softness and moisture, thus the bark becomes tough and changes to this sandy shade. Tiny new leaves grow at the very end of the stems and look like very delicate lacework when they first appear. In spite of being hard and tough, the long stem is quite flexible and sways to the wind.

The whole orientation of the plant is upward. The stalks seem to try to reach the sky, while the roots attach it firmly to the ground. It is well rooted, although I have not been able to observe the root system. I held it close to the base and tried to pull the plant, but it offered great resistance.

The bright yellow fringed flowers with protruding stamens are star-like, and grow in clusters, facing straight up. The central flower has five petals, while all other have four. The rounded petals are initially curled around the center and slowly open up, forming a protective shield for the light green, four/five-lobbed ovary, which gradually swells up, until the petals are no longer necessary and drop. The ovary, with 4-5 chambers, continues growing until it reaches a size between 0,5 – 1 cm (.2 – .4 in), becoming brown as it matures, eventually opening up to reveal 4-5 tiny black seeds in its interior. I observed this process from August to December 2007, and documented it with pictures, some of which are shown in this paper.

The leaf colors range from green-grayish to a bluish green with a velvety touch. The rounded small leaves are disposed symmetrically on the upper part of the stem. They are very light and bright green when young, turning into a green-grayish tone as they get older, eventually becoming brown at the tips and falling off. Some older leaves are covered with a white soft layer underneath the blade. I am not sure whether this is a natural feature of the plant or a parasite of the plant I observed. The leaves are symmetrically distributed on each individual stem, to the right and left and at the tip. They have a central grayish vein and many smaller secondary veins deriving from the main vein. Some leaves remind me of a heart shape.

One of the most striking features of this plant is indeed the strong, aromatic, bitter or acrid scent, but once you get used to it, it can be very soothing and comforting. I have had personal experiences with that. Whenever I feel upset, mashing a few leaves with my fingers and smelling them makes me feel better. The taste of the leaves is quite bitter and the berries taste similar, but stronger and a little hot.

The plant I observed grows in a sunny environment, receiving direct sun all morning until about mid-afternoon. It does not require much water or mulching, and the blooming period ranges from the end of winter (August) throughout the end Spring (December). In December, the ovaries were dry and ready to release the seeds. The stem that was at this stage broke during a storm, but what I observed in the previous years is that the seeds drop as the stem sways to the wind, and I have actually had some new plants grow from these seeds in the preceding years.

Rue seems to have a strong relationship to the Earth and Air elements. The Air is present in the delicate blossoms and leaves that offer no resistance to the wind, however pointing straight up into the sky when left undisturbed. They have an ethereal and delicate appearance that makes me think the plant has some influence on our thoughts. The leaves seem to form a protective network, while the flowers with their antenna-like stamens seem to gather energies from above. On the other hand, the strength of the stalks and the firmness of the roots make me think of the Earth element, with its grounding qualities. To me, what becomes quite evident is that this plant has the quality of connecting these two elements, Earth and Air, thus giving us strong support to bear whatever comes our way.

By analyzing the medicinal uses and risks of rue, one aspect became very clear to me: the same energy that protects and cures can also kill you – it depends only on the amount you use.

Observing Rue through the Twelve Windows of Plant Perception

Form, Gesture, Signature

This was mostly described above. The star-like shape and the cosmic upward orientation of the bright yellow flowers speak very emphatically of a connection with the light, making me think they have a very important role in linking our consciousness to the higher realms. The ascending pattern of the stems, leaves and flowers reinforce this idea. Even the leaves face up. I am puzzled about the fact that only the central flower has five petals, while the others surrounding it have only four. May that be a representation of the Divine and our need to connect and surrender to it – the central flower – and we as the surrounding flowers?

Botanical Plant Family

Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Sapindales
Family Rutaceae – Rue family
Genus Ruta L. – rue
Species Ruta graveolens L. – common rue


As mentioned before, the bright yellow color imparts light and the idea of connection to a higher consciousness.


The extremely sharp and rather bitter odor of the leaves makes me wonder whether this is the part of the signature that refers to the high protection level offered by this plant, as a means of keeping negative astral energies away. At the same time the flowers draw in the light, the leaves seem to say “Stay away, dark energies, we don’t want anything to do with you,” while the roots state “We are here to ground you”.


Rue can be poisonous if ingested in excessive quantities. All parts of the plant contain the active principles, although they are mostly encountered in leaves (especially before blooming). The main active principles of the plant are:
a) glycosides, such as rutine, a flavonoid, responsible for the bitter taste.
b) alkaloids (quinolones): skimmianine and graveoline.
c) furocoumarins (psoralens): bergaptene (3-methoxypsoralen) and xantotoxine (8-methoxypsoralen), responsible for photosensitization, hepatotoxicity and nephrotocixity.
d) essential oils: methyl-nonyl-ketone (has effects on the uterus), methyl-n-octyl-ketone and methyl-heptyl-ketone.
e) alcohols: methyl-ethyl-carbinol, pinene, limenenes.
f) other compounds are: dictamine, skimmianine, pteleine and kokusaginine.
Tannin, resins and ascorbic acid have also been found in the plant.

Medicinal Uses and Risks

As a medicinal herb, the fresh leaves are used; if not available, dried leaves are a poor substitute. Rue oil and infusions of rue were formerly used as antispasmodics and emmenagogues. Rue oil is a powerful local irritant . It is recommended in herbal treatment of insomnia, headaches, nervousness, abdominal cramps, and renal troubles. It is a well-known emmenagogue. The plant may be part of sedative and hypnotic herbal preparations (rue oil is a commonly-used homoeopathic medicine as rubefacient, for certain dermatoses as eczemas and psoriasis), and as an antiviral agent when combined with other herbs. Applied or rubbed on the skin it has a rubefacient effect (for rheumatic pains).

The most frequent, intentional use of the plant has been for induction of abortion. Although some cases of poisoning are due to errors in the preparation of medicinal infusions, most clinical cases are due to intentional ingestion to induce abortion. The traditional medicinal infusion is made with a full spoon of leaves per 250 ml (8.5 oz) of boiling water and not more than 2 cups are generally used per day. In case of intentional abortion the preparation is highly concentrated and usually mixed with other herbs. In Mediterranean and South American countries the plant is widely spread and well-known; severe cases of poisoning are reported in countries where voluntary abortion is illegal. In traditional medicine its use in children is contraindicated.

Use of herbal preparations of Ruta should be avoided unless there is accurate knowledge of their constituents and possible effects. Pregnant women should avoid the ingestion of infusions that may contain abortifacient (emmenagogue) plants. Skin contact with Ruta should be avoided. Rue oil is approved, however, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a flavoring agent.

I found reference to the use of Rue as a flower essence by FES and Filhas de Gaia, a Brazilian system. FES describes its positive qualities as “Internal cohesion and containment of psychic forces; activation of appropriate aspects of soul consciousness according to professional and personal responsibilities” and the patterns of imbalance are “scattered or confused psychic forces which deplete immunity and protective boundaries; need for greater clarity and discrimination in the activation of psychic forces.”

Maria Grillo, the researcher in charge of Filhas de Gaia, has sent me a description of the qualities of Rue essence according to this system. It is classified as a research essence so far. I am including the complete description, although it is a little long.

RUE – Yellow-greenish flowers – Ruta graveolens L.
It facilitates the emergence of Willpower for the construction of a harmonious, prosperous and peaceful life, exercising our free will and protecting our physical, psychic and spiritual space. It sets boundaries, balances and strengthens the individuality and the Willpower of the solar qualities of the Soul, while assisting the Ego in attuning and aligning with these positive Soul qualities to strengthen itself and develop a strong and positive Self. This movement facilitates the alignment and the cure of those aspects in ourselves that identify with destructive, self-destructive and aggressive feelings and its negative effects in our relationships. This Flower Essence is extremely important for those who, in a relationship, allow other people’s will to dominate their own, leading them to engage in self-destructive behaviors, or to allow negative influences to enter their lives, whether they come from the spiritual, astral, psychic worlds or from their personal relationships.

KEYWORDS: Positive Soul power – Strong will – Individuality – Psychic protection – Spiritual protection – Physical protection – Be true to oneself – Willpower – Trust in the Soul power – Dignity – Solar consciousness – Masculine – Protective – Weak willpower – Low vitality – Psyche focused on a frequency of lack of love – Psychic weakness – Aggressiveness – Self-destruction – Destructive or self-destructive drive – Anger – External interference – Destructive interference – Evil spirits – Psychic exhaustion – Accidents – Subservience – Lower Self – Energetic drain – Prone to falls and accidents with wounds – Psychic attack – Spell – Witchcraft and charm

Herbal Lore, Mythology, Folk Wisdom, Culinary Uses

Most Western European languages have similar names for rue: English and French rue, Dutch ruit and German Raute all go back to Latin ruta, which itself was borrowed from Greek rhyte. The ultimate origin of the word is not known. Quite interestingly, several names of rue have chance homonyms: English rue may also mean “remorse”, French rue means “street”; and the German for street, raute, is related to the Latin rhomb, “equilateral parallelogram.”

In the New Testament, rue is mentioned as peganon, a name still used in Modern Greek as apiganos. There have been attempts to link that name with Greek pegos “strong” and thus the Indo-European root PEK “strengthen,” but the semantic connection is unclear. Related plant names are French péganium, Hebrew pegam, Aramaic pegana, and Arabic al-fayjan.

The Latin species name, which rue shares with several other aromatic plants like celery or dill, means “strongly smelling”: Latin gravis means “heavy” and olens is the present participle of olere, “smell.”
Rue belongs to those culinary herbs whose usage in the kitchen is checked by their inherent bitterness. Rue was a very common spice in ancient Rome, often being used for country-style food like moretum, a spicy paste of fresh garlic, hard cheese and herbs (coriander, celery, rue); nevertheless, its name was often used metonymically for “bitterness,” especially in poetry. During the last 2000 years, this ambivalent position gave way to an almost universal rejection in our days. I even found a Moretum recipe at The Historical Cookery Page.
Apart from occasional use in Italy, rue’s popularity is greatest in Ethiopia. Fresh rue leaves are sometimes used as a coffee flavorer (remember that coffee is probably native to Ethiopia!), and rue is also sometimes mentioned as a component in the national spice mix, berbere. Ethiopian cuisine is unique in using not only rue leaves, but also the dried fruits (rue berries) with their more intensive, slightly pungent flavor that is well preserved on drying.
To cook with rue is usually considered old-fashioned and yet, it is definitely worth a try; meat, eggs and cheese all can profit from this nearly unknown spice, provided care is taken not to overdose. The bitter taste is reduced by acids; thus, a leaf of rue may be used to flavor pickled vegetables, make a salad more interesting or add a very personal touch to home-made herbal vinegar. Because of its general affinity to acidic food, rue goes well with spicy Italian tomato sauces containing olives and capers.
Like many other bitter spices, rue is popular for flavoring liquors. Besides stimulating the appetite, bitter liquors have some tonic, stomachic and even bile-stimulating properties, all of which are advantageous after a rich feast. In Italy, rue is used to flavor grappa, a type of brandy.
The Latin moretum, seems to have been a somewhat attractive subject to ancient poets. A poem with this title was written by one “Sveius,” and a few lines of it are quoted by Macrobius (iii, 18). Parthenius, who was Vergil’s instructor in Greek (Macrobius, “Saturnalia,” v, 17), wrote on this subject, and in the Ambrosian MS. of Vergil there is a marginal note saying that Vergil’s poem was an imitation or translation of that of his teacher. Below I have quoted a few lines of Vergil’s poem:

“On something of the kind reflecting had
He then the garden entered, first when there
With fingers having lightly dug the earth
Away, he garlic roots with fibres thick,
And four of them doth pull; he after that
Desires the parsley’s graceful foliage,
And stiffness-causing rue,’ and, trembling on
Their slender thread, the coriander seeds,
And when he has collected these he comes
And sits him down beside the cheerful fire
And loudly for the mortar asks his wench.”

In ancient medicine, the herb was a favored remedy as an antidote to poison and was seen as a magic herb by many cultures and as a protection against evil. It was used for nervous afflictions, digestive problems and hysterics. Rue has a long history of use in both medicine and magic, and is considered a protective herb in both disciplines. The hardy evergreen shrub is mentioned by writers from Pliny to Shakespeare and beyond, as an herb of remembrance, of warding and of healing. Early physicians considered rue an excellent protection against plagues and pestilence, and used it to ward off poisons and fleas. It is one of the most well-known of the magical protective herbs and is often used in spells of warding and protection in modern magic.
Rue was once believed to improve the eyesight and creativity, and no less personages than Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci regularly ate the small, trefoil leaves to increase their own. The legend of rue lives on in playing cards, where the symbol for the suit of clubs is said to be modeled on a leaf of rue.

Rue was much used by the Ancients; Hippocrates specially commended it, and it constituted a chief ingredient of the famous antidote to poison used by Mithridates. The Greeks regarded it as an anti-magical herb, because it served to remedy the nervous indigestion they suffered when eating before strangers, which they attributed to witchcraft. In the Middle Ages and later, it was considered – in many parts of Europe – a powerful defense against witches, and was used in many spells. It was also thought to bestow second sight.
At one time the holy water was sprinkled from brushes made of Rue at the ceremony usually preceding the Sunday celebration of High Mass, for which reason it is supposed it was named the Herb of Repentance and the Herb of Grace. ‘There’s rue for you and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays.’
Shakespeare refers again to Rue in Richard II:

‘Here in this place
I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace;
Rue, even for ruth, shall shortly here be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen.’

The following is a quotation from Drayton:

‘Then sprinkles she the juice of rue,
With nine drops of the midnight dew
From lunarie distilling.’

Rue was strewn about law courts in parts of Great Britain as a preventive against diseases carried by criminals, and the bouquet still presented in some districts to judges at the assizes was originally a bunch of aromatic herbs, given to him for the purpose of warding off jail-fever. In Saxony, Rue has given its name to an Order.
In Colonial Brazil (1500-1815), it was also regarded as a plant that imparted protection, being used by slaves and masters alike, often associated to African rituals. In a famous painting called “Picturesque and Historic Journey to Brazil,” Jean Debret depicts the trade of rue on the streets by African slaves, used as a charm for good luck and protection.

Presently, Rue is widely used in several different religious rituals, specially in the Afro-Brazilian cults. I have had personal experiences of putting some leaves in a glass of water and drinking it when I felt an emotional imbalance, and I did feel better afterwards. Some people put it behind their ears when they feel they need protection, or put it underneath their pillow for a better sleep. I have also seen Rue incense. Rue is Lithuania’s national flower.

Four Elements

This aspect was covered in the perception exercise.

Cosmic and Earthly Relationships

Rue is a favorite of the black swallowtail butterfly, while dogs and cats dislike it. It is known as a companion plant to strawberries, figs, roses and raspberries partly because it tends to help deter Japanese beetles. One site I researched mentioned NOT to plant it with cabbage, sage, mint, or any of the basils, but there was no explanation why. It is also often used in knot gardens and as a hedge because it can be pruned back into shape. Pruning should always be done in the spring or after flowering. Rue also makes a nice addition to a rock garden or in a border that is out of the way.

Daily and Seasonal Cycles

This topic was discussed in the objective perception exercise. As mentioned there, I recorded the various stages of development with pictures, some of which are shown below.

Aug 5, 07 – Flowers in full bloom

Aug 5, 07 – Close-up of flower

Aug 5, 07 – Plant in its environment

Aug 19, 07 – Some petals starting to dry and fall off

Aug 19, 07 – Close-up of growing ovaries

Aug 19, 07 – New leaves

Sep 3, 07 – Almost all petals have dropped

Sep 12, 07 – Ovaries continue to develop and start to turn yellow

Oct 1, 07 – Color transition in the stalks

Oct 1, 07 – Ovaries continue developing

Oct 18, 07 – Ovary turning brownish

Nov 7, 07 – Ovaries opening up to reveal the seeds

Nov 15, 07 – Bottom leaves drying

Nov 15, 07 – Seeds getting ready to be released

Dec 21, 07 – General aspect of the plant

Dec 21, 07 – Ripe ovaries


Rue is native to Europe, specially the Mediterranean region, and to Western Asia, but widely distributed into all the temperate and tropical regions. It is a very popular and attractive garden shrub in South America, where it is grown not only for ornamental and medicinal reasons but also because of the belief that it provides protection against evil. I live in the Southern part of Brazil, with temperate weather, but we do have very hot summers, and the specimen I observed is indeed planted in a very sunny and rather dry spot, where it seems to be well adapted. Other healthy plants I have seen were growing in similar conditions.

Field Study Sketches

II. Artistry with Rue: pressed flowers and arrangements

I participate of a group that makes cards with dried pressed flowers, and I felt like making some cards using Rue in different stages of development. The elements I used did not come from the flower I observed at home, because I did not want to pick any flower from it. They were given to me by friends who had Rue bushes at home. In some cases, I went to their homes to pick them myself, in others, they brought me the flowers and leaves. I pressed them for two weeks and after they had dried, I made the cards. When I was preparing the cards, some tiny seeds fell from the fruit, and I included them in the white one.

Another example of an artistic expression of Rue is a flower arrangement I made in 2005, long before I knew I would do this study. Since I like to photograph the arrangements I make, the pictures can now be included here.

Bibliographic References

http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?32578 – USDA – NRCS PLANTS Database

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Ruta_gra.html – Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages

http://www.godecookery.com/friends/frec70.htm – The Historical Cookery Page

http://virgil.org/appendix/moretum.htm – Virgil.org

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/rue.php – Mountain Rose Herbs

http://botanical.com/products/bulkherb/r.html#Rue – Botanical.com

http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Ruta_graveolens.htm – The Tropical Plant Catalog

http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/national-flowers – The Flower Expert

http://www.infovisual.info/ – The Visual Dictionary

http://www.fesflowers.com/r-of-l-overview.htm – Flower Essence Society

http://www.filhasdegaia.com/ – Essências Florais Filhas de Gaia

The Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz

The Plant Study Guide from the 2007 FES Professional Course by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz

The Flower Essence Society 2007 Professional Course Notebook by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz

Ruta photos: Anete B. E. Effting

Anete was born in Blumenau, a town in southern Brazil named after its founder, which also means “Garden City”; she has been surrounded by flowers all of her life. This friendly environment was a fertile ground for her love of flowers. Anete graduated in Language Teaching and Literature, and taught English as a foreign language for over fifteen years, moving both within Brazil and abroad (Argentina and USA) for family reasons. Later on, she specialized in Translation at New York University. As a result of major changes in her personal life, she was introduced to flower essences and decided to devote her life to them. She has been studying flower essences since 2004, honoring her lifelong passion, and is presently engaged in the FES Certification Program, having attended the 2007 FES Professional Course.

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