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Products > Ruscus hypoglossum
 
Ruscus hypoglossum - Butcher's Broom
   
Image of Ruscus hypoglossum
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Asparagaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: Spain (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Ruscus hypoglossum (Butcher's Broom) - Compact, evergreen sub-shrub with creeping rootstock to 18 inches tall and spreading slowly to make dense 3 to 4 foot wide clumps of 3-5 inch long cladodes (modified stems which take the place of true leaves) that taper at both end and are held at branch tips. Small yellow flowers form in the axil of the leaf that are followed by a red fruit on female plants of this dioecious species. Plant in morning sun or bright to deep shade and water only occasionally to regularly. It is hardy to 5-10 F and useful in USDA zones 7b and above. Resistant to deer predation. This is a great tall groundcover for under trees, because it is an attractive yet tough shade-loving plant that is not invasive and is drought tolerant in our mediterranean climate. Ruscus hypoglossum grows in the forest understories from central and south eastern Europe from areas in Italy, the Danube Region into Asiatic Turkey and possibly south to Iran. The name for the genus comes from an old Latin name for prickly plants, and while some species are prickly, this one is not. The specific epithet is from the Greek words 'hypo' meaning "under" and 'glossa') meaning "tongue" which combined mean "below-a-tongue" or "sheathed beneath" in reference to the cladodes that extend beneath the flowers. Common names for this plant include Spineless Butcher's-broom, Mouse Thorn, Horse Tongue Lily, Israeli Ruscus and Holland Ruscus. This plant has been cultivated in British gardens since the 16th century and was introduced into the US in 1926 by the Burea of Plant Industry (USDA) as BPI60359-1926. We have grown this durable plant since 1995.  This information is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of it in our nursery of crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we have visited. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Ruscus hypoglossum.