Cast-Iron Plant

Aspidistra elatior

Aspidistra, Iron Plant, Bar-Room Plant, Ballroom Plant

About This Plant

Shade or filtered shade only. Evergreen, with dark glossy leaves that endure both heat and extreme cold. A rhizomatous perennial, it survives with minimal water or care. The name says it all. Aspidistra tolerates neglect, dust and dark shade, but not exposure to the sun, which quickly bleaches the leaves. Transplant it into the darkest corners of the landscape. Aspidistra is also used as a houseplant. Big plants can be expensive and they’re slow growing, so they make valuable pass-alongs. Mass them for tough texture under big live oaks.

Origins: Taiwan; Japan


Cut sun-bleached or freeze-burnt leaves as needed. Cast iron is one of the few plants so long-lived that it may occasionally need its leaves dusted off.

Aspidistra's tough, leathery leaves lend tropical lushness to deep dark shade.

Min. Height: 18'

Max Height: 24 inches'

Min. Width: 1'

Max Width: 3 feet'

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