Saturday, 19 March 2016

morphology

A shrub called the Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus oder Stechende Mäusedorn) has a very wide range spanning from Iran to the Meditteranean and a venerable history in traditional medicine, as the Presurfer informs.
Also called Kneeholm as it’s knee-high in the garden, one could be forgiven for overlooking this common and ornamental evergreen which seems less colourful than other holly bushes but it has an interesting adaptation that, like cactuses, called phylloclades that are essentially flattened stems that appear and function as leaves, and of all the trees that are in the wood, this holly bears its flowers and berries directly on the leaf. Part of the large asparagus family, its fresh shoots can be gathered and eaten the same way.