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Ruscus aculeatus

butcher's broom [2]

R. aculeatus is a bushy sub-shrub to 75cm, with glossy lance-shaped cladophylls 2.5cm in length, flowering in spring, with glossy red berries on female plants in summer and autumn

Other common names
box holly
knee holly
see moreknee holm
knee hull
kneeholy
pettigree
pettigrue
prickly box
shepherd's myrtle
wild myrtle

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Green
Summer Green Red
Autumn Green Red
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Asparagaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Acute ingestion may cause mild stomach upset. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Ruscus are rhizomatous evergreen subshrubs with flattened, leaf-like cladophylls bearing small pale green flowers, followed on female or hermaphrodite plants by glossy red berries

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe to Mediterr.

How to grow

Cultivation

Dried stems may be used in floral arrangements. Individual shoots are short-lived. Grow in any but waterlogged soils

Propagation

Propagate by seed or division

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Low Maintenance
  • Cut flowers
Pruning

Cut out dead stems to the base in spring

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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