Family: Convallariaceae
Common Name: Cast-iron Plant

One of the toughest house plants, Aspidistra became very popular during Victorian times. Originally from China, Japan and the Himalayas, it has long, stiff, shiny, dark green leaves which grow from a clump at the base. While excellent for the house, it is also a suitable specimen for shaded verandahs and patios, and for growing in shaded areas under trees.


A. elatior grows to I m (3 ft). It has long, leathery dark green leaves on stiff sterns, while the leaves of cultivar 'Variegata' are striped green and white. The small cream to dark purple flowers grow close to the soil. However, those grown indoors seldom flower.


When grown in pots as house or greenhouse plants, use a soil-based potting compost and provide bright light but at the same time shade from strong sun. Be careful with watering, that is, moderately in summer and very little in winter. Do not overfeed. Propagate by division in spring.


Zone 9 and above.

Asphodelus      Asplenium