Cast-iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 6b -20.6 °C (-5 °F) to -17.8 °C (0 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 2 to 3 feet (60-90cm)
Plant Spread: 1 to 3 feet (30-90cm)
Leaves: Evergreen
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Provides winter interest
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Have You Thanked a Plant TodayHave You Thanked a Plant Today
By LarryR on November 8, 2012

Plants are an integral part of our natural heritage. Among other things, they provide us with food, shelter, fragrance, and beauty. They also provide us with a surprising number of active ingredients in the medicines we take.

(Full article6 comments)
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Posted by terrafirma (NE. FL. - Zone 9a) on Aug 22, 2014 8:16 AM

This is a plant that will thrive in conditions that are unacceptable to most kinds of plant. A very sturdy, long-lived evergreen.They require the most minimal of care, growing best in a rich, porous soil. The leaf blades range from 1 foot to 2 1/2 feet, atop a 6 - 8 inch grooved leaf stock. Grows very well in the deepest of shade. In the northern areas of the country, it can withstand some filtered sun. In my neck of the woods, which can be very hot, any amount of sun causes severe burning/browning of the leaves. They will flower, at ground level in the spring.

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Posted by chuck7701 (McKinney, TX (DFW) - Zone 8a) on Mar 22, 2015 10:46 AM

These are great plants that can withstand just about anything except ice accumulation on the leaves, which burns the leaves. Snow does not appear to hurt them, other than to weigh them down and break the stalk or the fronds. It is a shade plant in the south. Direct sun will burn the leaves.

Easy to divide. Slow grower. Best left for 3-4 years before dividing. New shoots appear only in spring. Flowers around December, mostly unseen below dirt line. Grows in good to poor soil. Very hardy and drought tolerant to a large degree.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Bloom by Seedfork Apr 16, 2016 3:30 AM 1
Plant identification by Franci Nov 21, 2020 8:36 AM 7
Aspidistra elatior problem by rm21 Sep 5, 2020 5:56 AM 0
Looking for recommendations by Lorelei1973 Aug 9, 2020 3:55 PM 13
Time to post variegated, gold, purple, spotted all colors of the rainbow foliage by bumplbea Oct 25, 2020 7:59 AM 249
Plant ID by Idontknowatall May 6, 2020 10:31 AM 6
Suggestion for shaded planter box by shinyonne May 28, 2020 6:35 PM 8
Good Houseplants by Izroion Sep 6, 2020 7:21 AM 27
Doing an indoor winter garden, need help by Valir Nov 24, 2019 12:50 AM 9
Low Light Plants by Annie_MaeMcq Oct 25, 2019 3:55 PM 6
Show your pretty variegated foliage! by plantladylin Nov 27, 2019 3:40 AM 137

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