Information on Wall-rue

Common Name: Wall-rue
Scientific Name: Asplenium ruta-muraria
Irish Name: Luibh na seacht ngábh
Family Group: Aspleniaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Wall-rue is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This small, short stemmed fern is frequently found in rock-crevices, on the mortar of old stone walls and alkaline rocks, usually growing on vertical surfaces.  Its dull, dark evergreen leaves are thick and in irregular tufts, up to 10cm long and bi- or tripinnate.  The petiole is often longer than the leaf-blade.  The groups of spore-producing structures (sori) on the underside of the leaflets are detectable from June to October.  This is a native plant which belongs to the family Aspleniaceae.

I first recorded this plant in the Burren, Co Clare in 1988 and photographed it there in 2006.   

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Wall-rue
Wall-rue

Also known as White Maidenhair in Culpeper's era, this seventeenth century apothecary said of the decoction made of the fern:

'The decoction being drunk helps those that are troubled with the cough, shortness of breath, the yellow jaundice, diseases of the spleen, stopping of urine, and helps to break the stone in the kidneys.. …being green it loosens the belly, and voids choler and phlegm from the stomach and liver.  It cleanses the lungs, and by rectifying the blood causes a good colour to the whole body.'