Friday, November 27, 2015

Butcher's Broom

I came across this growing at the base of a hedge bordering a driveway to some old cottages and the church at Compton Beauchamp. It's Butcher's Broom or Ruscus aculeatus. It is a peculiar plant. The 'leaves' are actually flattened modified stems (cladodes) in the middle of which the small whitish flowers appear. The red fruit look almost artificial in colour.
In many areas of the country it is an ancient woodland indicator. It used to be part of the Lily family but this has now been re-named the Asparagaceae family.

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