Butcher's broom ( Ruscus aculeatus )
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:
- Ruscus × microglossus Bertol. = Ruscus hypoglossum × Ruscus hypophyllum . It occurs in the Mediterranean area.
Butcher's broom ( Ruscus aculeatus ), fruit
Rag leaf ( Ruscus hypoglossum )
Western Mediterranean butcher's broom ( Ruscus hypophyllum )
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