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ASPIDISTRA elatior

Image of Aspidistra elatior

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

ASPIDISTRA elatior

Plant Common Name

Cast Iron Plant

General Description

Cast iron plant, a native of China, is an evergreen perennial known for its ability to withstand deep shade. Its upright glossy, blade-like leaves are dark green or variegated. The coarse foliage produces a bold, tropical effect year-round in warm climates or as a houseplant in cold climates.

Plant cast iron plant as a groundcover in deep shade in fertile, well drained, sandy soils. Though it thrives on neglect, water and fertilize regularly in the summer growing season for spectacular results. Good locations include under a deck, it deep woods or partially shaded garden beds. If moisture is lacking, more shade is needed. It also makes a nice houseplant. 'Variegata' and 'Milky Way' are two selections with more interesting foliage.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    12"-28" / 30.5cm - 71.1cm

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Groundcover, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Self-Sowing

    No