Butcher's-broom - Ruscus aculeatus


    Butcher's-broom is a bushy sub-shrub to 75cm, with glossy, lance-shaped cladophylls 2.5cm in length that give the appearance of stiff, spine-tipped leaves. The flowers are small with greeny-white petals.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    As this is rare in VC55, a photo is needed for verification


    Dry shady places such as woodland and scrub. It is frequently grown in gardens, and may become established where discarded or deliberately planted, or where bird-sown.

    When to see it

    It flowers early in the year, followed by glossy red berries on female plants.

    Life History

    A dioecious, evergreen, rhizomatous shrub. It reproduces vegetatively by creeping rhizomes, and by seed, which may be bird-sown. 

    UK Status

    Widespread but local in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 2 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as an Alien (neophyte)

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map