This is the plant if you need something for the darkest,driest, spot in the garden, you could probably grow it in a cupboard, in fact it won’t like you if you try growing it in a sunny spot! It is actually an evergreen perennial although it looks more like a shrub and it grows to about 1metre tall and as wide. What looks like foliage is in fact cladodes (modified stems that function as leaves) and the tiny green and purple flowers that from a distance look like small insects sit in the centre of each cladode. This plant is all about texture as it doesn’t do showy and in Australia as far as I know both sexes aren’t grown so that the red berries that could be expected on female plants unfortunately don’t form. Anyone with both sexes in Australia should feel free the send me bits! Like all good perennials you can divide well grown clumps to make more plants but as a nurseryman I should be discouraging that sort of behaviour! To at least start you off I have 6” pots of this indispensable plant at $15.50 so why not at last fill up those dark dust bowls in your garden where you thought that only a garden gnome could survive!!!! By the way the “foliage” of Ruscus makes great material for floral art and lasts in water for months. What more could you want.
About The Author
Horticulturalist, nurseryman, collector, prolific writer and award-winning radio broadcaster and TV host. Owner of Dicksonia Rare Plants nursery and open garden Tugurium. ABC patron of Royal Hortocultural Society Victoria & friends of Geelong Botanic gardens President Plant Trust.