ruta graveolens

Chervona Ruta

Chervona Ruta (Червона рута, rue — heady plant) — is a flower, but also part of the Ukrainian culture related to the holiday of Ivan Kupala Day. According to the legend, still respected in Carpathian mountains and Bukovina, rue is a yellow flower which turns red only for a couple of minutes on the night of Ivan Kupala. The girls who will find the flower will be happy in love.


In accordance with the legend, as long as the flower remains imperceptable, nothing peculiar happens. It is only on the night of Ivan Kupala that the wonder happens. "Chervona" is translated from Ukrainian as red. In Russian language also, the use of term "scarlet" has a similar meaning, e.g. "there is nothing more beautiful than the scarlet flower". Sofia Rotaru, in one of her interviews, has explained the etymology of the term in following words: "Ruta is a yellow flower, which becomes red on the night of the Ivan Kupala Day". .


"Chervonyi" - is an old Slavonic word. The transformation of the meaning of the adjective "krasnyi" (red) has an interesting history. The proverbs "An izba is red judging by its corners", "A debt is red by its payment", "Red girl" mean "red", "good" as to beautify from the Slavic word "krasa" - beauty. In such a way, when the Kievan Rus' was also called Krasnaya Rus', they meant that it was "beautiful" Rus'. For the color notation proper, the Slavic languages used the word "chervonyi". In Russian language, one can still see the link in the word "chervontsy" (bank notes worth of 10 roubles of red colour). A big number of linguists consider that namely through the use in the financial field, the initial sense of the term was somewhat alterated. Hence, "Chervona Ruta" does not need a translation. One can eventually russify "Chervonaya Ruta", which remains solely theoretical.

Scientific explication

  • Rue (Latin: Ruta) — is a name for the plant from the Rutaceae family. There are about 60 known types of rutas, wildly growing in the Mediterranean regions, Western and Middle Asia. One type of rue grows on the terrtory of the former USSR - Common Rue, a sweet-scented Herb-of-grace which grows in Crimea, on the rocky slopes. Common Rue (Ruta graveolens L.) — is the most common type, a subshrub, naked, greyish green suffrutex plant, up to 40cm in height. Its leaves are pinnately dissected an it has a corymb inflorescence in the form of panicle.
  • According to a different opinion, Chervona Ruta means Golden and/or Yellow Rhododendron.

See also


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