This mysterious, and very rarely-seen plant makes attractive compact bushes of rigid, branched stems bearing evergreen spiny leaves, and bears greenish flowers followed by sizeable gorgeous red berries throughout the winter and following spring! Quite incredibly, it is a member of the lily family! For hundreds of years herbalists have used butcher's broom in the treatment of various ailments. And presumably butchers-of-old used branches to clean their work tops with the sharp foliage? For the chemists amongst you, Butcher's Broom contains 0.8-1.5% quinolizidine alkaloids, principally sparteine which inhibits the passing of sodium ions across the cell membrane and thus is an effective anti-arrhythmic substance. It is is frequently used in its sulphate form as an oxytocic drug - a substance which stimulates contraction of the uterine smooth muscle. sparteine also appears to extend the diastole. But we do not recommend experimenting without first consulting your doctor! Very few valuable fertile seeds are produced and we pick them individually from our plants, with only one large seed per berry, hence the high price.
These fresh seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and cold-stored for several months. They should be sown at any time of the year, into well-drained sandy compost , and covered to their own depth with sand or grit. No artificial heat is needed; the seed tray is best left in a cool spot outside and kept moist. Seeds usually germinate in the spring after a chilling in the cold compost, regardless of when they are sown. Germination can be very slow indeed, often more than 1 year.
Common name:BUTCHER'S BROOM, KNEE HOLLY, SWEET BROOM
Packet Content:3 large pearl-like seeds (Approx)