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Ruscus hypoglossum

Ruscus hypoglossum, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Nolinoideae
Tribus: Rusceae
Genus: Ruscus
Species: Ruscus hypoglossum

Ruscus hypoglossum L.

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 1041. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Ruscus hypoglossum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
suomi: Isoruskus
magyar: Lónyelvű csodabogyó
Türkçe: Yalovamercanı

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 spineless butcher's-broom,[2] mouse thorn and horse tongue lily. The species name comes from two Greek words ὑπό (hypo) and γλῶσσα (glōssa) meaning under and tongue.


The mature plant shrub will eventually reach about 46 cm (18 in) in height. It has a creeping rootstock and leaf-like phylloclades or flattened stems that are about 8 cm (3 in) long to 4 cm (1+1⁄2 in) 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 2.5–3.8 cm (1–1.5 in) long on upper side of phylloclade. Plants are dioecious, with male and female flowers produced on separate plants.[3] Fruit is a rarely produced red globose berry 0.6 to 1.3 cm (0.25 to 0.5 in) wide.[4]


Ruscus is derived from an old Latin name for prickly plants.[5]

The specific epithet hypoglossum is derived from Greek and means 'sheathed beneath' or 'below-a-tongue'. The name is in reference to the cladodes of this species, which extend beneath the flowers.[5]

Halada, Ľ. "Ruscus hypoglossum L. in Slovakia" (PDF). Thaiszia. 4: 183–195. ISSN 1210-0420.
BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
Halada, Ľubos; Erdelská, Oľga (2005). "Reproductive biology of Ruscus hypoglossum L. in Slovakia" (PDF). Acta Biologica Cracoviensia. Series Botanica. 47 (1): 213–217.
"Ruscus hypoglossum". University of Connecticut - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Plant Growth Facilities. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 209, 336

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