Click for previous Image Image 1 of 4 Aspidistra elatior Cast Iron Plant

Aspidistra elatior 'To Ryu Mon'

Cast Iron Plant

Plant Type:


Aspidistra elatior 'To Ryu Mon' (ex: Jonathan Lehrer) - This old Japanese selection of Cast Iron Plant is one of only a few that sports a stable, clearly defined cream-white halo around the upper margins of each dark, glossy green leaf. The white band grows stronger and more evident as the plant becomes older. Great house, greenhouse or conservatory specimen where it can't be grown outdoors. Pot grown division.

Among the most endearing and heart warming messages we have ever received - I had to share - Giovanni C. wrote on behalf of his mother, Mirella from Italy on 10.14.2019: "Hallo Wayne, I hope my mail will find you well! Only to say you that Miss TO RUY MON, afther a long trip trough NY and Miami, arrived safely in Venice (then in Friuli, in a village called Rivignano, UD). She’s beautiful and my mum is so happy and excited with her new daughter (my mum has the largest collection of aspidistras in Italy...maybe...) that she asked me to thank you immediately!!! Tanks Mirella (and Giovanni)"



24-30 in


30-36 in


Dark Red


(7b)8 to 10
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Aspidistra elatior 'To Ryu Mon'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Winter

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Shade
  • Dappled Shade


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

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium


  • Draining
  • Fertile
  • Woodland


  • Japan

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.

If grown as a house plant filtered shade to early morning sun is adequate. Full sun behind nylon (or another gauzy material) curtains is excellent. Do not over water cast iron plant. If constantly wet it will rot. Water thoroughly but never let it sit in water. In winter keep them even drier. In late winter look for new growth tips shooting up above the soil. Check for the amazing flowers at this moment. Increase water at that time. But again it is imperative as a house plant that you let the plant go dry between waterings. A moderately good but draining soil/medium is best.

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.