BUTCHER’S BROOM

FAMILY: Asparagaceae | GENUS: RUSCUS

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Moderate Water
  • Drought Tolerant
PLANTING ZONES
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Native to Mediterranean region. Unusual leafless plants with some value as small-scale ground cover, curiosity, or source of material for dried arrangements. These old favorites are usually not sold by garden centers, but rather passed around by gardeners. Flattened, leaflike branches do the work of leaves and bear tiny greenish white flowers in centers of upper surfaces. If male and female plants are present, or if you have a plant with male and female flowers, bright red (sometimes yellow) fruit follows the flowers. Plants spread widely by rhizomes. Tolerate competition from tree roots. Subject to chlorosis (yellow leaves with green veins) in alkaline soil.

ruscus aculeatus

  • To 14 feet tall, with branched stems.
  • Spine-tipped leaves are 13 inches long, one-third as wide, leathery dull dark green.
  • Fruit is inches across.
  • Wheelers Variety' is a self-fruiting form.

ruscus hypoglossum

  • To 1 feet., with unbranched stems.
  • Leaves to 4 inches long, 1 inches wide, glossy green, not spine tipped.
  • Fruit is inches across.
  • Spreads faster than Ruscus aculeatus.
  • Superior as small-scale ground cover.

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