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Lithuanian traditions:
Common Rue


Gardens with common rue (Latin: ruta graveolens, Lith: rūta) flowers are so widespread in Litthuania that the common rue may as well be considered the national flower of Lithuania. Rue, however, is not a native plant in Lithuania. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary by the Roman Catholic Church in the 9th century. Catholic missionaries grew it in their own gardens and brought it to Lithuania in the late Middle Ages. Rue is a hardy plant and is easy to propagate even in poor soils.

Possibly because of its strong fragrance, people ascribed medicinal and even magical powers to the rue: protection from spells, "evil eye", snake venom, and other evils.

Association of rue with Virgin Mary may have given rise to the Lithuanian tradition of wearing a wreath of rue on their heads by unmarried maidens. (Click here to read more traditions.)