Ruscus hypoglossum

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Mouse Thorn
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Ruscus
Species: R. hypoglossum
Binomial name
Ruscus hypoglossum

Ruscus hypoglossum is a small evergreen shrub with a native range from Italy north to Austria and Slovakia and east to Turkey and Crimea.[1] Common names include mouse thorn, spineless butcher's broom[2] and horse tongue lily. The laurel crown of Caesar was made of Ruscus hypoglossum.[3]


Rarely produced fruit

The mature plant shrub will eventually reach about 18 inches in height. It has a creeping rootstock and leaf-like phylloclades or flattened stems that are about 3 inches wide to 1½ inches wide tapering at both ends. True leaves are smaller green appendages around the flowers. Small yellow flowers bloom in the axil of a leaf-like bract 1 - 1.5 inches long on upper side of phylloclade. Fruit is a rarely produced red globose berry 0.25 to 0.5 inches wide.[4]


  1. ^ Halada, Ľ. "Ruscus hypoglossum L. in Slovakia". Thaiszia 4: 183–195. ISSN 1210-0420. 
  2. ^ "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  3. ^ Mabberley, D.J. (1997). The plant book: A portable dictionary of the vascular plants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  4. ^ "Ruscus hypoglossum". University of Connecticut - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Plant Growth Facilities. Retrieved 19 March 2012.