Butcher's Broom


1 entry found.
Butcher's Broom
Common Name: Italian Ruscus, Butcher's Broom, Box Holly, Jew's Myrtle
Botanical Name: Ruscus aculeatus (RUS-cus ah-kew-lee-AH-tus)
Decorative Life: About 14 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into water plus regular household bleach at 20 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per quart.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Liliaceae (lily family).
  • Native to Western Europe into the Mediterranean region.
  • Relatives include asparagus, lily, hyacinth, Chlorogallum, Zigadenus, aloe and asparagus.
Personality:
  • Has sharp-pointed leaf-like stems or cladophylls, stiff and glossy along green and woody branches.
  • Commercially they are cut to various lengths, bunched and distributed.
  • Plant is an evergreen shrub, classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Not applicable.
Storage Specifics: Store at 34-41 F, up to 10 days dry and up to 3 weeks in water.
Tidbits:
  • Ruscus has separate male and female plants. The flowers appear in the middle of the cladopylls and the female flowers develop into red berries. The specific epithet name aculeatus means prickly.
  • With over 3000 species, the lily family includes many medicinal and food species in addition to ornamentals.
  • For those Chain of Life Network Members wanting more detailed information about the florists' greens industry, it is highly recommended that Robert Stamps' article entitled Florists' Botanicals (2001) be read.
  • Used extensively in weddings. Berries red.
  • Leaves are smaller than Holland or Israeli ruscus.