Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Aspidistra elatior Cast Iron Plant

Aspidistra elatior 'Ginga Giant'

Cast Iron Plant

Plant Type:

SHADE PERENNIALS

Aspidistra elatior 'Ginga Giant' (ex: Jonathan Lehrer) - From Robin Lennon comes this recent Cast Iron Plant introduction with all broad, glossy dark green leaf irregularly dotted with creamy yellow speckles. 'Ginga Giant' will make a formidable larger ground cover in shade more southerly than our own. It will also make a good, easy care house plant in diffused light. But I wish we could grow these outdoors! Jonathan is getting many through in the warmer half of USDA zone 7 on Long Island. Division.


Height:

22-26 in

Spread:

30-36 in

Colors:

Dark Red

Characteristics and Attributes for Aspidistra elatior 'Ginga Giant'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Winter

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Light

  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Shade
  • Dappled Shade

Attributes

  • Evergreen
  • Woodland
  • Border
  • Ground Cover
  • Greenhouse / Alpine House
  • Foliage
  • Massing
  • Conservatory
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Edging
  • Potted Plant

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium

Soil

  • Woodland
  • Draining
  • Fertile

Origins

  • Garden Origin

Propagated By

  • Division

Genus Overview: Aspidistra

Good old-fashioned Cast-Iron Plant is resurging in popularity as the tough garden denizen it is when located in even quite dense shade down south in USDA zones 7 to 10 or as a potted plant in the north. It is also possible they may exhibit greater northern hardiness according to Professor Jonathan Lehrer (into USDA zone 6) as it re-emerges in his Long Island garden. It would be worth seeking out Jonathan's sage article, From Cast-Iron to Gilded Gold, which appeared the June, 2011 issue of American Nurseryman. But let me offer one colorful quote right here, right now: "this herbaceous perennial from Japan has long been the butt of Western insult. It debuted as a tortured container plant in the dusty, drafty parlors of Victorian England and became a maligned icon of literature and song. A forgiving character, apsidistra sought refuge at the local pub only to serve admirably potted in a spittoon." ...Very cheeky, indeed.

The blade shaped leaves are glossy to semi-glossy on tough stems. Aspidistra is virtually evergreen down south sited outdoors and certainly evergreen as a potted plant in your vestibule up north. The flowers which occur at ground level or just below are akin to wine-maroon sea anemones with the "tentacles" becoming waxy opaque whitish at the tips. Flower color may vary somewhat from this descriptive. And though the flowers are perhaps not a Cast Iron Plant's most ornamental feature, hidden or otherwise they are nevertheless cool, odd curious and even luridly beguiling - one could say their season of flowers, generally during winter, offers a fascinating "Angry Red Planet" dimension... Okay, okay - some of us are easily amused.

There are remarkably beautiful variegated color forms available and through the generous support of Jon we are offering some. Our plants are pot-grown divisions.