Aspidistra elatior

11 Jun

Aspidistra elatior (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Aspidistra elatior (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Position: Dappled shade  to full shade

Flowering period: Early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Asparagaceae

Aspidistra elatior is a slow growing evergreen perennial with a clump forming habit . Its glossy mid/ dark leathery green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up t0 5cm long and 10cm broad. Its brown flowers are inconspicuous and borne on its rhizomes. Its roots are rhizomatous which aids its slow spread.

Aspidistra elatior, commonly known as Cast Iron Plant, Bar Room Plant, Common Aspidistra, is native to the islands of south Japan and Taiwan. In its native habitat it grows as a woodland understory plant.

The etymological root of the binomial name Aspidistra is from the Greek aspidion menaing ‘small shield’. Elatior is derived from the Latin elatius menaing ‘proudly’.

The landscape architect may find Aspidistra elatior useful as an effective foliage groundcover plant. It is also useful for interior landscapes due to its tolerance of neglect, low light and low humidity conditions.

Aspidistra elatior Leaf (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Aspidistra elatior Leaf (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Ecologically, Aspidistra elatior is of little value to UK wildlife.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Aspidistra elatior their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Aspidistra elatior prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes wet soils.

Aspidistra elatior requires little maintenance.

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