Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a small, evergreen shrub, called a sub-shrub. It naturally forms a neat mound. The tip of each leaf is a sharp spine. Small, plain flowers bloom in spring, and they are followed by bright red, waxy berries. The berries ripen anytime between late summer and winter. The shrub is native to the forests of Europe. It is also called knee holly because it grows only 1 to 3 feet tall (or knee high) and it is prickly. The name butcher’s broom comes from an old use of the plant. Butchers used to tie a bundle of branches together and use it as a broom to clean off carving blocks.