Aspidistra elatior 'Morning Frost'
Cast Iron Plant
Plant Type:SHADE PERENNIALS
Aspidistra elatior ‘Morning Frost’ (ex: Jonathan Lehrer) – 'Morning Frost' is a "big boy" among Cast Iron Plants growing as tall as 3 feet with each blade as broad as 5 inches across. But its attributes don't end there... There is a longitudinal central striation and sometimes multiple striations running the length of each leaf coupled with a lighter, whiter color overlay in the upper half of the leaf. Wow! 'Morning Frost' is a knockout that lights up in the lightly shaded siting it prefers planted in fertile draining soil. Cast Iron Plant demonstrates drought tolerance. Clumping. Established pot grown division.
Zone:7b to 10
What is my hardiness zone?
Characteristics and Attributes for Aspidistra elatior 'Morning Frost'
Season of Interest (Foliage)
- Spring / Summer / Autumn
- Greenhouse / Alpine House
- Drought Tolerant
- Potted Plant
Growth Rate in the Garden
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.