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Regional Picks: Plants for Dry Shade – South

Fine Gardening – Issue 158

‘Spek-tacular’ cast-iron plant

Name: Aspidistra elatior ‘Spek-tacular’

USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 11

Size: Up to 30 inches tall and wide

Conditions: Light to full shade; moist, well-drained soil, rich in organic matter

Maybe cast-iron plant is too cast-iron for its own good. It takes care of itself, so no one else does. Trim back and fertilize those old clumps—they’ll stand up and shine. And while rediscovering the beauty of this old-fashioned plant, check out the cultivar ‘Spek-tacular’, not only because it’s so liberally speckled but also because of its elegant posture and the graceful dip of its leaf tip. Like most cast-iron plants, ‘Spek-tacular’ will survive the worst conditions, but it’s so handsome that you can’t help but pamper it.

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