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Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’ (photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Picture Library/Photolibrary)
Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’ (photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Picture Library/Photolibrary)

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Zone
Zones 4-10, 12-24, H1, H2
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Regular Water
Moderate

Aspidistra elatior

Cast-iron Plant

Perennials

Sturdy long-lived evergreen foliage plant from China. Best known as a houseplant, but also makes a striking accent outdoors. Tough, arching, glossy, dark green leaf blades with distinct parallel veins are 1–2 1/2 ft. long, 3–4 in. wide; each is supported by a grooved, 6–8-in.-long leafstalk. Inconspicuous brownish flowers bloom near ground level in spring.

‘Variegata’ has white-striped leaves but loses its variegation if planted in too-rich soil. Other variegated and spotted forms are available.

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