Scientific: Aspidistra elatior
Common: bar room plant, cast iron plant
Family: Liliaceae
Origin: Japan

Pronounciation: As-pi-DIS-tra e-LA-ti-or

Hardiness zones
12 and 13 with protection, 16-24
USDA 7 (some reports indicate this, but I have my doubts) -11

Landscape Use: Small scale ground cover for dense shade plantings, indoor building atriums including shopping malls, inner court yards and shaded entryways, atrium rock gardens, indoor container gardens, shade patio container plant, container house plant.

Form & Character: Leafy and clumping, upright, stiff, yet delicate.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, herbaceous perennial that spreads slowly by rhizome. Foliage might extend to 2 feet above the ground surface.

Foliage/texture: Large somewhat succulent green entire simple leaves, ovate to lanceolate in shape to 12 to 30 inches long th at appear on elongated thick petioles that emerge from rhizomes below ground; coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Tiny purple flowers appear at the base of plants in the spring, not showy, fruits are inconspicuous.

Seasonal color: None

Temperature: Intolerant of freezing temperatures.

Light: In Phoenix, this bar room plant requires full shade.

Soil: Performs best with organic amendments added to soil, salt and alkaline soil sensitive.

Watering: Frequent regular irrigations are required to keep soils evenly moist.

Pruning: Remove dead or damaged foliage; divide after several years to re-invigorate growth.

Propagation: Division of clumps

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Specialty plant for Arizona landscapes because of light, temperature, and salt sensitivities. Few plants can tolerate extreme low light conditions below 30 footcandles like cast iron plant. 'Variegata' and 'Milky Way' are two white variegated leaf cultivars. Other green leaf cultivars with striking effects include 'Asahi', 'Hoshi Zora', 'Lennon's Green', and 'Lennon's Song'.