Ruta japonica Sieb. ex Hook. f.
Slender, branched, perennial herb, 30-60 cm high, woody at the base. Stems brownish-red, glabrous or sometimes sparsely pubescent. Leaves alternate, 3-5-pinnate, gland dotted. Leaflets 6-18 x 5-12 mm, obovate to obcordate, entire, obtuse or emarginate, petioles slender and wiry; leaflets glabrous, paler on the lower surface. Flowers small, white, in cymes. Pedicels very slender. Sepals cupular, c. 1.5 mm long, 4-5-lobed; lobes obtuse, persistent. Petals 4-5, c. 5 mm long, oblong. Stamens 6-8, filaments slender, unequal, longer than the petals. Ovary 3-5-lobed, with a gynophore arising from an urceolate disc. Capsule 6-8 mm in diameter, membranous, ripe capsule splitting into distinct fruitlets. Seeds black, reniform, testa granulated.
Fl. Per.: August-September.
Type: Not designated.
Distribution: Temperate Himalayas, Phillipines.
Commonly found in the N. of Pakistan (Hazara and Murree Hills) at 2-3000 m, growing in shady forest. The plant has an unpleasant smell and the roots have a spicy fragrance. Locally called, “Pissu. Mar” or flea killer, its leaves when crushed emit a strong foetid smell and used as a flea powder.