CRCCD – Goat’s Rue

SKU: CRCCD-GR Category:


Tephrosia virginiana


Soil:  Acidic, Sandy loam, Well-drained
Moisture:  Average to Dry
Light:  Full to Part Sun
Plant Height:  1 to 2 feet
Plant Width:  1 to 1.5 feet
Pests:  None
Landscape Value:  Great for small spaces and border fronts.  Good for mass planting in butterfly gardens and xeric gardens.

An under-used, striking, long-blooming plant! This perennial legume has upright to sprawling stems and compound leaves bearing 8 to 15 paired leaflets and one terminal leaflet.  Stems and leaves are covered with soft white hairs giving the plant a gray-green color. Bicolored pea-like flowers occur in dense clusters at stem tips and bloom May to August.  Flowers have rose-pink lower petals and pale yellow upper petals.  After blooming, flowers are replaced by widely spreading, hairy seed pods.  Roots fix nitrogen.  Due to deep root systems, plants are best left alone once established as division and transplanting are rarely successful.   Attracts butterflies, moths, and bees.  Tolerates poor soil and drought.  Goat’s Rue roots and stems contain rotenone, which is toxic to insects and fish.  It was once fed to goats to increase milk production, but this practice was discontinued when rotenone was identified.

1 gallon pot

Photo credits:
North Carolina State Extension (photo by Eric Hunt)