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A picture of a Butcher's Broom

Butcher's Broom

Ruscus aculeatus

Also known as

Knee Holly, Kneeholm, Sweet Broom, Box Holly, Knee Hull, Pettigree, Prickly Box, Shepherd's Myrtle, Wild Myrtle, Broom

Ruscus aculeatus 'John Redmond'. Locatie, Tuinreservaat Jonkervallei 04 by Dominicus Johannes Bergsma (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








10 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Butcher's Broom

A close up of a white Ruscus aculeatus flower on a leaf
A close up of some white and purple Ruscus aculeatus flowers and green leaves
A close up of some green leaves and a red fruit on a Ruscus aculeatus plant
Some green Ruscus aculeatus growing outdoors
A photo of Butcher's Broom

Butcher's Broom Overview

Ruscus aculeatusr is a rhizomatous, evergreen subshrub species in the Asparagaceae family. Commonly known by the name Butchers Broom, amongst others, this plant is native to parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. Members of this genus have flattened photosynthetic stems resembling lance-shaped leaves, termed cladophylls. It produces small white flowers with purple centres on these leaf-like structures in the spring. Followed by glossy red berries from summer-autumn. This species is dioecious and thus produces male and female flowers on individual plants, only the female plants produce berry fruits. This plant has a bushy habit and typically grows to around 75cm tall, the leaves measure around 2.5cm long.

How to propagate Butcher's Broom



Special features of Butcher's Broom

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Butcher's Broom

Banks ornamental fruit. Tolerates coastal conditions