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PlantFiles: Variegated Cast Iron Plant
Aspidistra elatior 'Variegata'

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Aspidistra (ass-pi-DIS-truh) (Info)
Species: elatior (ee-LAY-tee-or) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegata

One vendor has this plant for sale.

18 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
4.5 or below (very acidic)
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Khyssa
Thumbnail #1 of Aspidistra elatior by Khyssa

By vossner
Thumbnail #2 of Aspidistra elatior by vossner

By rylaff
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By Kell
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By vossner
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Thumbnail #7 of Aspidistra elatior by jjdolley

There are a total of 12 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive DILLY On Dec 1, 2009, DILLY from Jesup, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

That is a great picture! I need advice on potting mix, fertilizer (I'd think not) and watering, that you could have such happy looking variegated aspidistra without it "going to green" from too much TLC.

I didn't know there was other than vertical striping and didn't know they have names.

In the 25 years since I was given a start it's given me multiple clumps; some as original, and some all green_was even surprised with the funny little flowers, and I still don't have a formula.

Now I have made a trade and the recipient would like to know, "How often should I water it?" beyond my inadequate, "keep it on the dry side."

If you reply to this it would be helpful to me, and I could pass on the word, attributed to you. Thanks, Thelma

Positive ffachicken On Jan 13, 2009, ffachicken from Spring, TX wrote:

This plant grows very well in the Houston/Beaumont area. The flowers are very hard to see requiring a little digging to unearth. They develop underground and the fleshy purple/maroon flowers just peep out of the ground to bloom. They must be pollonated by ground dwelling insects, I have seen large black beetles and ants that seem to be attracted to them. Very alien in appearance.

Positive vossner On Nov 20, 2005, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've had this plant for 1 yr, planted inground in am sun, pm shade. Gets green leaves, I want to cut them off, but if I do, then I won't have much of a plant. Slow grower. Picture I uploaded not the prettiest. I think the desert-like summer we experienced in 2005 took a toll on my plant. If it looks ratty next year I will change my rating to neutral.

Spring 2007. I got brave and started cutting off all the solid green leaves. Seems to have made for a more beautiful "variegated" plant. Still a slow grower.

Spring 2015. I now have a thick row of this plant and have started another hedge row elsewhere. Yes, it does get burned leaves in summer, but I don't mind cutting the ratty off for a renewed look.

Positive brugmansialover On May 23, 2005, brugmansialover from Santa Maria, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is great, it also took me a while to find, but not as long as it took me to find the true, Milky Way... I found it at a garden center in Los Angeles... I was soo amazed to see it, and i got it!!! I really love it, i have 8 different cast iron plants... And to my knowledge, there are 28 different ones... :O)


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Beverly Hills, California
Calistoga, California
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Elk Grove, California
San Diego, California
Apopka, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Crescent City, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Jesup, Georgia
New Orleans, Louisiana
West Monroe, Louisiana
Portland, Oregon
Bluffton, South Carolina (2 reports)
Conway, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Covington, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Midland, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Spring, Texas

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