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Spineless Butcher's-broom

Ruscus hypoglossum


An attractive green shrub a little over a foot in height with flat acuminate blades that resembled leaves but with no distinct median rib or leaf-like venation. They were flattened stems or cladodes. From the middle of the blades arose tongue-like projections which were the actual leaves and at the axils were short stalked flowers -pic 1 shows a bud and pic 2 shows a bloom.


In a garden bed -car park. A non-native.


This plant is native to many parts of Europe and belongs to the same family as Asparagus, a monocot. Traditionally, in Europe, the stiff Ruscus plants were dried and bundled into short brooms and used to clear off and clean butcher's blocks, hence the name butcher's broom. A very hardy plant, the female flowers of some of the species bear brilliant red berries. But propogation is mostly through rhizomes.
I had to look twice at this unusual looking plant having mistaken the flowers for debris blown onto the plant. Yet another amazing work of nature !
Family: Asparagaceae

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1 Comment

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Interesting plant. Awesome notes too, Leuba.

Leuba Ridgway
Spotted by
Leuba Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on May 5, 2020
Submitted on May 5, 2020

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