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Butcher's Broom

Ruscus aculeatus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Asparagales
Family:
Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Type:
Evergreen shrub
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
75 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Cliffs, gardens, hedgerows, rocks, sea cliffs, seaside, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Green, 3 petals
 
Pale yellow or green flowers, up to 5mm across. Sometimes purple-spotted around the edges. The flowers grow out from the centre of the cladodes (see the section on leaf details). 3 petals and 3 sepals.
Fruit:
A red berry. The seeds are distributed by birds and ripen from August to March.
Leaves:
Butcher's Broom has no leaves. The leaf-like structures are actually flattened stems. These structures are called 'cladodes'. This plant is a low-growing evergreen shrub with oval cladodes that end in a sharp spiny point. Throughout the British Isles, Butcher's Broom is the most common in the south and east of England.
Other Names:
Box Holly, Jew's Myrtle, Knee Holly, Knee Holm, Knee Hull, Kneeholy, Pettigree, Pettigrue, Prickly Box, Shepherd's Myrtle, Wild Myrtle.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map