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Semele androgyna

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Author: Carl Sigismund Knuth, 1850
Origin:  The Canary Islands, Madeira
Soil:  Rich
Water:  Maximum
Sun:  Medium
Thickness:  4 Centimetres
Height:  10 Meters
Flower:  Crème Colour
Propagate:  Seeds/Rhizomes
Names:  Climbing Butcher’s Broom
Synonyms:  Ruscus androgynus, Linnaeus.
Danae androgyna, Webb & Berthel.
Ruscus procerus, Salisb.
Semele androgyna subsp. pterygophora, M.Â.Carvalho.

This evergreen member of the Ruscaceae family was given this name by Carl Sigismund Knuth in 1850. It is found on the Canary and Madeira Islands, growing in a rich soil with lots of water and some sun. The rhizomes grow up to four centimetres in diameter, the climbing vines can reach ten meters in length. The flowers are crème coloured or pale yellow, the fruits are red, one centimetre in diameter.

The bizarre "leaves" with the flowers at the edges are actually not leaves at all, but flattened branches known as phylloclades or cladodes.

Might be confused with Semele menezesi Costa 1927 (Pinheiro de Carvalho) from Madeira.

The genera name from mythical mother of Dionysus. The species name of the mother of Bacchus, androgyna : from andros , that means 'masculine' and gyne , that means 'feminine', referring to the hermaphrodite flowers.

')Accordantly to the latest taxonomic system; APG IV 2016,  Ruscaceae is now part of the Asparagaceae.