Copyright Contact Webmaster. Menu flowers of chania. Ruta chalepensis L. The family consists of about genera with about species.

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Copyright Contact Webmaster. Menu flowers of chania. Ruta chalepensis L. The family consists of about genera with about species. The type genus is Ruta, with about 60 species distributed from the Atlantic Islands through the Mediterranean region all the way to Asia.

Another famous member that you will probably meet in the municipally of Chania is Citrus, and I shall ask your attention for some interesting details of Citrus as well at the end of this page. When I found it again in the gorge of Messavlia, I took the time for a closer look. One of the things that fascinates me most about this plant, are the fringed petals. In the tropics fringed flowers are not so rare for example the family Cassipourea but in Crete or the Netherlands I only know two or three other plants with dentate or ciliate petals.

Ruta chalepensis is not rare in Crete. The common names are Fringed rue, Aleppo rue, Egyptian rue. It is native to the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Fringed Rue is a small yellowish-grey-green shrub-like plant of 20 — 80 cm height, a perennial herb that is more or less woody below. The lower leaves have more or less long stalks and the lower bracts are much wider than the branches which they subtend; the plant is glabrous throughout.

The pedicels are as long as or longer than the capsule; the branches and pedicels are glabrous with rarely a very few minute glands above; the bracts are wider than the subtended branch, the lower several times so. The petals are oblong and conspicuously fringed with long cilia not as long as the width of the petals, 6—8 mm, yellow, with their margins inrolled.

There are as many stamens as petals plus sepals : 8 or 10 in 2 series. The sepals are also glabrous, deltate-ovate The ovary is superior. This disk can be seen in detail 5 as the ring under the ovary with the large glands the large glandular pits. It flowers from April until June. The capsule is 4-lobed or in the central flower of each inflorescence: 5-lobed. The styles come from every lobe but soon fuse into one style see details 5 and 6.

The seeds are many and are angled. You can find the Fringed rue in rocky places in the Mediterranean region, in the gorges of Crete, in the montane and sub-montane zones in rocky places, in the edges of woods, dry banks and thickets, usually on limestone. It is still in cult for ornamental, flavoring and medicine.

It was used extensively in the middle eastern cuisine in the old times, as well as in many ancient Roman recipes, but because it is very bitter, it has fallen out of grace as not being suitable for our modern taste. However, it is still used in certain parts of the world, particularly in northern Africa, several Arabian countries, India and Mexico. It is reported that the leaves are used as a condiment and that a decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of coughs and stomach aches.

An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used in perfumery and as a food flavouring. However, a warning is in its place here. There are several reports that some toxic oils may promote localized sunburn or produce dermatitis. In a report on pharmaceutical compositions and methods at www. In Saudi Arabia, for example, the aerial parts of the plant are used as a laxative and anti-inflammatory, and to treat colic, headache and rheumatism.

In India, the plant is prescribed for dropsy, neuralgia, rheumatism, and menstrual and other bleeding disorders. In Africa, an aqueous decoction of the leaves serves as a treatment for fevers Shah et al. In Crete, infusions of the leaves of the plant are know for use as stomach tonics.

Ruta chalepensis is also used, in combination with other herbs, in preparations for tooth and ear aches. However, larger intakes of the plant and especially the roots, are in most above-mentioned countries known to work as aborticides, and several reports make mention of deaths as a result of bleedings after abortus or poisoning by rue. Fresh rue contains volatile oils that can damage the kidneys or liver.

Even though rue is a mainstay of midwives in many developing countries, its risks generally outweigh any benefits it might have for contraception or abortion. Deaths have been reported due to uterine hemorrhaging caused by repeated doses of rue. Taking it orally is strongly discouraged.

Rue is NOT included in C. So, little amounts used as a spice in the kitchen or used as a medicine against stomach-problems seem safe, larger amounts should be avoided. Synonyms for R. Also, the name is regularly mistakenly written as chalapensis, chalepense and so on. It is an attribute of young girls, associated with virginity and maidenhood. Therefore it is frequently used in Lithuanian folks songs. A bride traditionally wears a little crown made of rue, the symbol of maidenhood.

During the wedding the crown is burned. In traditional English folk songs thyme is frequently used to symbolize virginity and rue is used to symbolize the regret that is supposed to follow the loss of virginity. Rue is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant in gardens for its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions — I found it in a garden in Kalamaki, Chania. Ruta graveolens is a little smaller than R. It is also a shrub-like perennial herb, up to 45 cm with oblong or obovate, glandular-punctate and strong-smelling leaves.

The inflorescence of yellow flowers are rather loose; the pedicels are approximately as long as the capsule; the bracts are lanceolate and leaf-like. The disk is thick and urceolate, with glands or glandular pits. It comes originally from the Balkan peninsula and the Krym, but is introduced, many centuries ago, in parts of northern Europe.

Now it is widely naturalized from gardens in S. Europe, and also introduced in the Greek mainland — but not yet in Crete. Rue as a spice: Rue does have a culinary use if used sparingly but it is incredibly bitter. Fresh leaves are used; if not available, dried leaves, but these are a poor substitute and even more bitter. Today, rue is sometimes used as a traditional flavouring in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. Apart from some occasional use in Italy, rue is especially popular in Ethiopia, where not only rue leaves are used, but also dried fruits the rue berries with their more intensive, slightly hot flavour that is well preserved on drying.

The bitter taste can be reduced by using acids. A rue leaf therefore can be used to flavour pickled vegetables, a little in a salad or in a home-made herbal vinegar, in a spicy tomato sauce together with olives, capers, marjoram and basil.

But take care not to overdose, because the taste is really bitter. The bitter rue is also popular for flavouring liquors. A well known Italian liquor is grappa con ruta, a brandy flavoured with a small branch of Fringed Rue in each bottle. More information about its use can be found in the Spice Pages: www.

Because of its smell, rue can be used in the garden as a deterrent to cats. It is insensible for moulds and aphids and is used regularly in the biological battle against plant-diseases by alternating sensitive plants with rue. These fruits are hesperidiums, because of their fleshiness and separable rind. They contain about forty-five percent juice, about thirty percent rind and about twenty five percent pulp and seeds. They contain about ninety percent water, about five percent sugars and one or two percent acids, protein like vitamines, oils and minerals.

Some well known members in the Citrus family are: the citron C. However, some of the above mentioned species are of hybrid origin and there is much confusion about the genuine species within the genus Citrus.

Some taxonomists recognize up to species, others argue that all belong to only one large species because they are freely graft and cross-compatible for the most part. In the Flora Europaea Tutin describes 8 european species: 1. According to Tanaka , a mutant of 2 4.

Polunin mentions only three species, cultivated for their fruits and aromatic oils in Greece and the Balkans: 1. These four basic species are: C. Merril syn. It has been suggested that both the sour orange and the sweet orange are hybrids between mandarin and pomelo; the clementine seems to be a hybrid between the mandarin and the sweet orange which was already a hybrid between Lemons are probably a cross between a citron and a sour orange itself probably a hybrid of pummelo and mandarin.

The multitude of natural hybrids and cultivated varieties, including many spontaneous mutants, obscure the search for the center s of origin of citrus fruits.

The origin of the citrus fruit trees is in the region of China and Southeast Asia and India. Far before the Common Era lemons, limes and oranges were cultivated in the Indus Valley and the citron was well known in the Mediterranean region before Christian times. Another result of the DNA-analyses is that C. The orange tree is an evergreen small tree. The leaves are usually entire and the petioles often winged. The flowers are axillary: solitary or in short loose panicles, and the flowers are white sometimes with a little purple on the outside , fragrant and strong-sweet-smelling.

The flower has 4 or 5 petals and 15 or more anthers that are single or coherent in groups of three, four or more. The calyx is present although generally not clearly divided into 4 or 5 sepals but mostly only irregular calyx-lobes. The ovary has 8 to 15 locules and a long style with a capitate stigma. Under the ovary is, typical for Rutaceae, a large disk. The fruit is a globose berry hesperidium with several segments that are filled with a juicy pulp that is composed of stalked pulp-vesicles.

Although there are 1 to 8 ovules in each locule, the modern oranges have no or very few seeds. Rutaceae normally have compound leaves. Actually, they do.


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Box 7, Nablus, State of Palestine. Box 14, Birzeit, State of Palestine. Interest in essential oils was recently revived with their popularity increasing in medicine, pharmacy, and aromatherapy. This study was performed to identify the chemical compositions of the essential oil of Ruta chalepensis growing wildly in three regions in Palestine and to assess and compare their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Identification of the essential oil was performed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry GC-MS. Antimicrobial activity was tested against Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus , and Candida albicans by using minimum inhibitory concentration MIC assay, while antioxidant activity was analyzed by using the 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl DPPH free radical scavenging method.


We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally. A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of paralysis, coughs and stomach aches[]. The leaves have been heated then placed inside the ear to treat earache[]. Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species.

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