• Ruscus Aculeatus, L
    Ruscus Aculeatus, L
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Ruscus a genus of European evergreen shrubs; sometimes placed in family Asparagaceae
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ruscus A genus of monocotyledonous plants of the order Liliaceæ and tribe Asparageæ. It is characterized by diœcious flowers, with the segments separate, the stamens with their filaments united into an urnlike body which bears three sessile anthers, and a roundish or oblong and one-celled ovary with two ovules, maturing two hemispherical seeds, or only a single globose one. There are 3 species, natives of Europe and the whole Mediterranean region, extending from Madeira to the Caucasus. They are erect, branching, half-woody plants, bearing, instead of leaves, alternate or scattered acute ovate and leaf-like branches (cladodia), which are rigidly coriaceous and lined with numerous parallel or somewhat netted veins, and are solitary in the axils of small dry scales which represent the true leaves. The small flowers are clustered upon the upper faces, or by twisting the lower faces, of the cladodia at the end of a rib-like adnate pedicel, and are followed by globose pulpy berries. R. aculeatus is the common butcher's-broom, also called kneeholly or kneehulver, Jews'- or shepherd's-myrtle, etc., an evergreen bush ornamental when studded with its red berries. R. Hypophyllum and R. Hypoglossum are dwarf species, also called butcher's-broom, and sometimes double-tongue. The rhizome is diuretic.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ruscus rus′kus a genus of monocotyledonous plants of the order Liliaceæ—containing Butcher's broom, Shepherd's myrtle, &c.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. ruscum.


In literature:

RUSCUS ACULEATUS (Butcher's Broom), a native of this country, is invaluable for planting in shady, sheltered spots.
"Trees and Shrubs for English Gardens" by Ernest Thomas Cook
But in Ruscus, flowers are borne on one face, in the axil of a little scale: and this would seem to settle that they are branches.
"The Elements of Botany" by Asa Gray