Family: Rue (Rutaceae)
Hardy to Zones 3 to 9
Herbaceous perennial native to southern Europe, North Africa and Asia. Upright, multistemmed, festooned with shining compound leaves and orange-scented flowers in handsome, pyramidal spikes that emit flammable puffs of essential oil on hot summer evenings. The seed pods are sticky with aromatic resin, and they forcibly eject the shiny, black seeds to a distance (this has never been an easy pick). The dried root bark or leaves are used to produce a cordial infusion for calming the stomach. Sow the seed in the fall for germination in the spring. A long wait, but dependable, and definitely worth it once you get these babies established. The flowers remind me of azaleas, and the orange-ey aroma takes me far away.