Butcher’s broom, dots of red berries even in shade

Butcher's broom twig and fruit

With its cute, well-formed leaves and bright red berries, Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) excels at filling in small shrub beds in shady areas.

Basic Butcher’s broom facts

NameRuscus aculeatus
Family – Asparagaceae
Type – bush

Height – 32 to 48 inches (80 to 120 cm)
Exposure – shade
Soil – cool

Foliage – evergreen

Planting butcher’s broom

Equally good are spring and fall for specimens purchased in pots.

Follow our advice on planting shrubs.

Pruning butcher’s broom

No pruning is formally required, which isn’t to say it shouldn’t be done. If the shrub grows too large, you can cut it back during the dormant season when birds have finished picking the berries off.

Remove dead wood regularly.

Comments about Butcher’s broom

Butcher's broom shrubThis little holly shrub, sometimes called knee-holly, strangely resembles holly by its size and the red berries that appear in fall and stay up to the end of winter.

It is very easy to care for and grow.

Native to Europe, it needs a relatively cool environment and thus is very well adapted to forest growth and shaded areas.

Smart tip about Butcher’s broom

Use its branches for your Christmas decorations, it’s a perfect replacement for holly!


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Single Butcher’s broom berry by Bernard Dupont under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Whole shrub by Leonora Enking under © CC BY-SA 2.0