Variegated Cast Iron Plant 'Variegata'

Aspidistra elatior

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



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Magenta (pink-purple)


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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, Th... read more


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.


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.


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)