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Ruscus aculeatus 'Wheeler's'

Wheeler's Butcher's Broom

This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.

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Item #: 1371

Zones: 7a to 9b, possibly colder

Dormancy: Evergreen

Height: 54" tall

Culture: Sun to Light Shade ?

Origin: England, Iran, Mediterranean Europe

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L) ?


Ruscus aculeatus is an odd Eurasian poet's laurel relative that forms a clump composed of spiny, dark evergreen foliage held rigidly along the 54" tall, upright green stems. The clump is adorned by bright red berries in early fall and winter. Our first plant came from Elizabeth Lawrence's old Raleigh garden after the home had been used as a fraternity house for 30 years...that's one tough plant. A conversation piece for collectors, Ruscus 'Wheeler's' is probably the single best plant we grow for dry shade. Our 8-year-old clumps are now 4.5' tall. Ruscus 'Wheeler's' is a self-fruiting form (without benefit of a sexual partner) of a normally dioecious plant. If that's not enough, it is foraged as an edible asparagus substitute, the seed are ground to make coffee, and a root extract is used to treat varicose veins and hemmhroids. And you don't have one yet...why?