The common variety of rue (Ruta graveolens) is a strong-scented shrubby perennial with hairy stems that attains a height of about 1 m (3 ft). It has gray-green leaves and bears clusters of yellow flowers. During the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry rue may have been cultivated in Palestine for use in medicine and as a flavoring for food.
This plant is mentioned only at Luke 11:42, with reference to the scrupulous tithing of the Pharisees. Instead of “rue,” the parallel account at Matthew 23:23 mentions “dill,” as does a third-century manuscript (P45) at Luke 11:42.