Ruscus aculeatus

(Butcher's Broom)

Size Price
3-GALLON $49.99

Hardiness Zones:

 7a  7b  8a  8b  9a  9b

Quick Overview:

Ruscus aculeatus, commonly called butcher’s broom, knee holly or piaranthus, is a prickly, mounded, rhizomatous, suckering, evergreen sub-shrub that is native to Europe, the Black Sea area, northern Africa and the Azores. It typically grows to 2-3′ tall and as wide. Actual leaves of this shrub are microscopic. The ovate, thick, spiny-tipped, glossy dark green, leaf-like structures (to 1 1/2″ long) look like leaves but are in fact flattened leaf-like shoots (modified stems) called cladophylls on which the flowers and fruits are borne. Six-tepaled, star-shaped, greenish white flowers (1/16″ across) bloom singly or in pairs on the upper sides of the cladophylls in spring. Flowers are not showy. Female or hermaphrodite flowers are followed by showy, spherical to oblong, waxy red berries (3/8″ across) which mature from late summer to winter.  (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder)



Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers sundappled or light shady locations, but will survive in heavy shade. Established plants tolerate dry sandy soils. Avoid wet soils. Cut out dead stems at the base in spring. Most plants in the genus Ruscus are dioecious (separate male and female plants) except for this species which sometimes has hermaphrodite self-fertile flowers. Notwithstanding its occasional hermaphroditic potential, plants of both sexes are recommended (one male per six females) in order to produce maximum fruit set.   (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder)

Additional information

Common Name

Butcher's Broom

Botanical Name

Ruscus aculeatus

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-shade, Part-sun, Shade


2 to 3'


2 to 3'

Soil Condition


Water Needs




Foliage Color


Deer Resistant



3 gallon

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