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

Aspidistra elatior 'To Ryu Mon'

Cast Iron Plant

Plant Type:

SHADE PERENNIALS

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.


Height:

24-30 in

Spread:

30-36 in

Colors:

Dark Red

Zone:

(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

Light

  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Shade
  • Dappled Shade

Attributes

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

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium

Soil

  • Draining
  • Fertile
  • Woodland

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.