The genus Aspidistra includes a few species of evergreen, rhizomatous perennials that are valued for their evergreen, glossy foliage and their ability to grow despite full shade, fluctuating temperatures, and neglect. The leaves are elliptic or lance-shaped, and may have yellow or white markings in some species. Flowers are usually hidden and are borne at soil level on the rhizomes. These plants are commonly grown as houseplants. A. elatior is the well-known “cast-iron plant.”
Noteworthy CharacteristicsNative to the Himalayas, China, and Japan. Evergreen, leathery, glossy leaves. Flowers are pollinated by snails or slugs. Plants tolerate deep shade and neglect.
CareIn the garden, grow in moist but well-drained, fertile, sandy soil with added leaf mold. Choose a sheltered site in full or partial shade. Indoors, grow in bright filtered light. Water sparingly in winter.
PropagationBy division in spring.
ProblemsGenerally problem free.