Aspidistra elatior 'Milky Way'

Cast Iron Plant

Plant Type:

SHADE PERENNIALS

Aspidistra elatior ‘Milky Way’ (ex: Jonathan Lehrer) – All new dark green semi-glossed leaves are gently, subtly spotted in yellow maturing creamy white on this dwarf growing cultivar with broad leaves. This is an older variegated Aspidistra with each leaf suggesting a star-studded night sky. Site Aspidistra elatior ‘Milky Way’ in fertile draining soil. Cast Iron Plant demonstrates drought tolerance. Clumping. Division.





Height:

12 in

Zone:

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

Characteristics and Attributes for Aspidistra elatior 'Milky Way'

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / Autumn

Light

  • Shade

Attributes

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

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Slow

Soil

  • Fertile
  • Woodland
  • Draining

Origins

  • 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.

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.