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What is this??

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Question from Caroline


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This evergreen, sharp-leaves, long stemmed ‘shrub’ was in the garden when we moved in but has no label. It is about 1m high and the same wide, has dry, ridged, woody stems. There have been a very few red berries. Can anyone identify it please?

What is this??What is this??

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  • Views: 235
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Sun. 5th July 2020 18:41

Re: What is this??

Reply from Nicola

Hi Caroline, good morning. One suggestion from a helpful follower on our social media is

"I think it might be Butchers Broom."
"Ruscus aculeatus" (same plant just the botanical name)
"Russia aculeatus or Butcher’s Broom methinks: good as a barrier but not much else."
"Yeah it's Ruscus aculetus"

Hope that helps?

Also a few other comments
"it reminds me of the foliage often put in bunches of cut flowers. very woody stems."
"Hmmm the leaves look like a Jasmine, but... it’s a shrub!"

  • Posted: Mon. 6th July 2020 07:48

Re: Re: What is this??

Reply from Nicola

Hi again Caroline, another comment from Helen Elks-Smith - RHS Chelsea Flower Show award winning garden designer and professional member of Shoot.

"It is ruscus aculeatus but far from useless it grows well in the tricky sites where you have dry woodland areas - so very useful. Common name of box holly."

Hope that is useful:)

  • Posted: Tue. 7th July 2020 09:34

Re: What is this??

Reply from Nic Jennings

Butchers Broom is interesting as those are not actually leaves but flattened stems. The flower and the fruit will appear in the middle of those spiky "leaves".
As an aside it is also used botanically as a salve for Haemorrhoids but obviously not the plant directly!

  • Posted: Tue. 14th July 2020 20:49