Butcher's bones

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Butcher's bones
Butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus)

Butcher's broom ( Ruscus aculeatus )

Class : Bedecktsamer (Magnoliopsida)
Order : Asparagales (Asparagales)
Family : Asparagaceae (Asparagaceae)
Subfamily : Nolinoideae
Genre : Butcher's bones
Scientific name

Butcher's brooms ( Ruscus ) are a genus of the asparagus family (Asparagaceae) with six species .


The butcher's bones form upright dioecious shrubs. The actual leaves are greatly reduced and dry-skinned, photosynthesis is carried out by leaf-like, leathery, pointed phyllocladia that arise from the axils of the leaves. The phyllocladia are parallel-veined, permanent and oblong-round to oblong-lanceolate or elliptical.

The one to six green-white flowers are centered on the midrib of the top or bottom of the phyllocladia and grow from the armpits of bracts . The bracts are not overgrown, the three inner ones are narrower than the outer ones. The male flowers have three anthers . The gynoeceum is surrounded by a staminodial tube, the stylus is short, as is the scar . The ovaries are stalked and triple, in each compartment there are two ovules .

The fruits are red berries and contain one or two seeds.


The butcher's broom can be found from Macaronesia across Western Europe, the Mediterranean region and the Caucasus to Iran.


The genus contains 6 species (at times they were also placed in the genus Danae ):

  • Butcher's broom ( Ruscus aculeatus L. ), occurs in Europe in the Mediterranean area to the British Isles, Switzerland, Hungary, the Azores, North Africa and Western Asia.
  • Ruscus colchicus Yeo , native to: Caucasus, Turkey
  • Hadernblatt ( Ruscus hypoglossum L. ): Found in northwest Italy, Austria, eastern Central Europe, Romania, the Balkan Peninsula, Crimea and Turkey.
  • Western Mediterranean butcher's broom ( Ruscus hypophyllum L. ), native to: northwest Africa, southern Spain, France and Sicily
  • Ruscus hyrcanus Voronow , home: Caucasus, Iran
  • Ruscus streptophyllus Yeo , home: Madeira

Then there is the hybrid:


Individual evidence

  1. Hans Simon (ed.): The outdoor ornamental shrubs. Manual and lexicon of garden perennials . Founded by Leo Jelitto, Wilhelm Schacht. 5th completely revised edition. tape 2 : I-Z . Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2002, ISBN 3-8001-3265-6 , pp. 803 .
  2. Rafaël Govaerts (ed.): Ruscus. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved September 17, 2016.

Web links

Commons : Ruscus  - collection of images, videos and audio files