Aspidistra elatior (LILIACEAE) Cast Iron Plant

Weeds to Whack

A naturalised garden plant originally from China, named Cast-iron Plant for its seeming ability to last forever in the most adverse conditions. Wide, lance shaped, dark green and leathery evergreen leaves rise up from tough, rhizomatous roots. The photo shows a relatively large and dense clump about 1.5 x 2.5 m in size is spreading vegetatively via rhizomes. It probably originated from a garden dumping some time ago.

Photo: Sheldon Navie

Rhizomatous Root Mass

It can stand hard, poor soils, but not soggy conditions and not too much sun. In variegated varieties, color patterns often disappear if the plant is grown in rich soil. Spreads in clumps, vigorously at a moderate rate. Thrives in deep to moderate shade.
Photo: Sheldon Navie