Aspidistra yingjiangensis 'Singapore Sling'

Cast Iron Plant

Plant Type:

SHADE PERENNIALS

Aspidistra yingjiangensis 'Singapore Sling' (ex: Jonathan Lehrer) - We were wowed when we pulled 'Singapore Sling' out of the box of plants which arrived as if a present under the proverbial Christmas Tree from our great friend and personal Planta Claus, Jonathan Lehrer. Erect spears of midnight purple leaf sheaths emerge from the soil from which the bright emerald green leaves emerge. The combination is striking, astonishing and underestimated. The very long, narrow and arching dark green leaves - only 2 inches wide - are heavily dotted with spots of cream yellow like distant diffuse stars in a green cosmos. A dense grower, 'Singapore Sling' is sharp, striking and will make a head turning ground cover in the places it can be grown outdoors; otherwise it will make a dramatic house, greenhouse or conservatory plant which is what it is for us at Quackin' Grass. According to Tony Avent, whose catalog description is a scream - check it out, 'Singapore Sling' is a popular offering in the Thai flower markets. Pot grown division.


Height:

36 in

Spread:

30-36 in

Characteristics and Attributes for Aspidistra yingjiangensis 'Singapore Sling'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Winter

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Light

  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Shade
  • Dappled Shade

Attributes

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

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast

Soil

  • Fertile
  • Woodland
  • Draining

Origins

  • Thailand

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.