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Iron Plant Aspidistra elatior

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ass-pih-DIS-trah eh-LAY-tee-or
Description

Evergreen, rhizomatous perennial reaching up to 2' in upright clumps. Good specimen for planting in dense shade; this plant is resistant to damage by deer and is slightly salt tolerant. An evergreen "hosta substitute"; Excellent for low light areas as well as indoors in pots. There are some variegated cultivars. Called barroom plant because of its ability to withstand spittoonish conditions, iron plant due to its ability to withstand neglect. Utilized in exterior landscapes down south.

Prefers partial to full shade, intolerant of direct sun; needs rich, well-drained soil; drought tolerant, water regularly spring to autumn, during droughts, sparingly in winter; needs shelter from winter winds; no serious pest problems.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Erect, gigantic, coriaceous leaves with parallel** venations
  • Evergreen ground cover, it spreads by rhizomes
  • Petioles 7"-12" long, hosta-like leaves

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennial#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#low light#interiorscape#cpp#rhizomes#ground cover#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennial#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#low light#interiorscape#cpp#rhizomes#ground cover#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aspidistra
    Species:
    elatior
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal, erect, long-petiolate, solitary, gigantic, ovate to lanceolate, acute, entire, glabrous with 16-20 parallel veins, coriaceous, dark green to reddish-purple to variegated; 20"-24".
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Salt