Species in the Ruscaceae are perennial herbs. The leaves are parallel-veined and have entire (untoothed or unlobed) blades. In some species the leaves are confined to the base of the stem, but are alternately arranged on a stem in most New England species. There are multiple flowers per plant, and their arrangement on the stem may have several different forms, depending on the species. The flowers are actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) and 3-merous. The tepals that may be separate or united at the base into a tube. There are 6 stamens. The ovary is attached above the other flower parts (i.e., it is superior). The fruit is a berry. Species in this family were formerly included in the Liliaceae.

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