Garden Street (Ruta Graveolens) Or Fetid Street

The Garden Street (Ruta graveolens) is part of the aromatic plants although it is not used today while it was very popular in the Middle Ages for its bitter taste and strong smell that can sometimes remind the coconut.

Garden Street (Ruta graveolens) or Fetid Street

Nevertheless, its evergreen greenish leaves, glaucous, alternate, rounded, broad, cut into many obovate lobes, form a small ball-shaped shrub, erect, particularly resistant to drought as cold.

Its cut flowers less than 2 cm in diameter, dull yellow, with 4 slightly toothed petals, are grouped in cymes and bloom all summer. Fruits in capsules appear after flowering.

The interest of planting the stinking street in the garden resides in its aesthetic foliage but especially in the repulsive virtues of the plant which will make it possible to keep the aphids among other insects.

Be careful and wear gloves when picking up or trimming the Garden Street because the foliage is photosensitizing, ie the latex it produces can, in some people, cause a painless skin reaction in the form of stains brunettes that darken in the sun.

  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Type: Perennial aromatic plant
  • Origin: Southern Europe
  • Color: yellow flowers
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: yes
  • Planting: spring or autumn
  • Flowering: June to August-September
  • Height: up to 1m

Ideal floor and exhibition for the rue des jardins

The foul street is grown in full sun or partial shade in rather dry and stony ground, poor. If the soil is clay, add pebbles to the soil during planting. The soil must be well drained, do not gorge on water especially in winter.

Date of sowing, cutting and planting of the rue des jardins

It is possible to plant under cold frame in April but germination is quite delicate. Also try semi-augured cuttings in summer.

In all cases, planting will be in the fall (October) or spring (March-April).

Board of maintenance and culture of the foul street

Add some compost to the foot during planting and every fall. It is not necessary to water it outside the plantation.

At the end of winter, prune to remove the dried stems and reform the plant, and fold down the stems a little to encourage the development of new shoots.

Dry or mineral mulching is recommended from spring.

Harvesting, conservation and use of the rue des jardins

The leaves of the rue des jardins can be harvested and dried and put in bags of fabric to act as a repellent against insects of the house (mites, ants...). In the same way, your cat will scratch or urinate on other supports than your furniture legs if you rubbed them with foul street leaves.

In the kitchen, the rue des jardins can be used to make aperitif wines or its leaves can be added very sparingly to herbs for an omelette but its use must remain very limited because it is potentially toxic (abortive) in case of regular consumption.

In homeopathy, Ruta graveolens relieves joint pain (tendonitis, lumbago...) used in trauma (sprains...) and treats certain ophthalmological disorders.

Garden Street Flowers (Ruta graveolens) or Fetid Street

Diseases, pests and parasites of the stinking street

Root rot can reach Garden Street when stagnant moisture is too much.

Location and favorable association of the rue des jardins

It is a plant that is grown in the garden among the aromatics or to ward off aphids, and also in borders or potted.

There are fewer than a dozen species of Ruta, including the rue des jardins (Ruta graveolens) which comes in a more compact form with emerald foliage more carved under the name of Ruta graveolens 'Jackman's Blue' and a form with the so-called variegated foliage Ruta graveolens 'Variegata'.

Ruta chalepensis has elongated leaves, oval, it is lower and grows easily in the sunny scrubland of the Mediterranean basin...

(photo credit 2: Jeffdelonge, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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