Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Really Cool Plant: Ruscus hypoglossum

Hey Everyone,
Yeah, yeah, I know, I promised Botanic Garden photos, and they still aren't coming... hopefully tomorrow night I'll sit and write something :), but for now... my cool plant...

I was given this plant last year by one of my friends in my orchid society, and she told me that she'd gotten it, named as "Dinosaur Plant" from a friend of her's way back when, and she's had it ever since.  Well, after a bit of searching, and the wonderful help of a dear friend of mine, I got it identified as Ruscus hypoglossum.  I've been doing a bit of research on it (yeah, I know, big surprise on that fact) and I've learnt a heap of stuff.

The plant was absolutely covered in flowers
What I thought were it's leaves are in fact Phylloclades, which are pretty much flattened stems that look, and act like leaves, and that the weird "trapdoor-thingies" as I've been so scholarly calling them, are in fact it's true leaves.

The only thing this beauty has in common with my beloved orchids is that they are both classified, way back there, as being Asparagales, but that's about their closest commonality.

Now, this lovely plant here, is apparently native to Western Europe all the way through to Iran.  It's common name is Butchers Broom because apparently the butchers used to use the bunches of these to scrub their benches and floors.  And according to Cambridge, Caesar's Laurel Crown was made of this same species.

Some places say is flowers in spring, some say in summer, some say autumn, but in my shade house, I've seen if flower all year round, and sequentially blooms on the same flower spikes, so don't remove them.
Well, I'm off to bed,
Happy Gardening,


  1. "What I thought were it's leaves are in fact Phylloclades, which are pretty much flattened stems" . . Well isn't that interesting. I wonder if that's the explanation for the other plants I've heard of that have flowers on their leaves?

    1. Could be an explenation for a few of them, I know that there are some orchids that the flowers appear from their leaves, some from the base of the leaf, but some come from the leaf itself, and I know that they are indeed leaves, so who knows what happened there.... the plants probably decided that it was time for a bit of YOLO in it's evolution :)

  2. I am so glad you have this wonderful little plant for your collection. I have been searching high and low for this very plant............................... I grew heaps of it in Zimbabwe in my garden and used it with gay abandon for floral work. I would love to be able to get a plant and am willing to pay for it or in fact swap for an orchid plant. I happen to have quite a few (35 varieties.) My number is 021 153 7176.


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