Galega officinalis, also known as Goat’s rue or galega, professor weed, Italian fitch, or French lilac, is an herbaceous plant of the Fabaceae (legume) family.
There are around 6 to 8 species in the Galega genus native to Europe, Western Asia, and parts of North Africa. Rue is also known as French Lilac, Italian Whore, or Teacher’s Grass.
The generic name Galega is derived from “gale“, which means milk, and “ega” which means “to bring on“. This indicates the use of goat rue to promote the flow of milk from animals, like goats.
Goat rue is a perennial herbaceous plant that measures up to 1.2 m by 75 cm across. This robust, bushy plant has light green compound foliage, each with 13 to 17 lanceolate leaflets about 2 to 5 cm in length.
The white to pinkish-lilac flowers give way to pods containing 2 to 6 kidney-shaped seeds. The upright and branching stalks are hollowed and smooth and bear the long flower stalks.