Rue is a perennial shrub with hairy stems and a strong scent. It attains a height of about 1 m (3 ft), has gray-green leaves, and bears clusters of yellow flowers. The variety of rue shown here (Ruta chalepensis latifolia) and a variety known as common rue (Ruta graveolens) both grow in Israel. During the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, rue may have been cultivated for use in medicine and as a seasoning for food. In the Bible, this plant is mentioned only at Lu 11:42, where Jesus condemned the scrupulous and hypocritical tithing by the Pharisees.—Compare Mt 23:23.
Photo by Avinoam Danin, flora.org.il