Ruscus hypoglossum is a small evergreen shrub with a native range from Italy north to Austria and Slovakia and east to Turkey and Crimea.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Common names include spineless butcher's-broom,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref> mouse thorn and horse tongue lily. The species name comes from two Greek words ὑπό (hypo) and γλῶσσα (glōssa) meaning under and tongue.
The mature plant shrub will eventually reach about Template:Convert in height. It has a creeping rootstock and leaf-like phylloclades or flattened stems that are about Template:Convert long to Template:Convert wide tapering at both ends. True leaves are smaller green appendages around the flowers. Small yellow flowers bloom in the axil of a leaf-like bract Template:Convert long on upper side of phylloclade. Fruit is a rarely produced red globose berry Template:Convert wide.<ref name=UCON>Template:Cite web</ref>