Also called “The Cast Iron Plant” because the plant is rumoured to be almost indestructible. The Cast Iron Plant benefits from indirect bright light but can tolerate the cold, shade, and even being planted outdoors. They hail from South East Asia, mostly China and Vietnam, and grow under the shade of trees in areas of high rainfall.
Aspidistra’s take a long time to grow and are valued by the leaf, so tall ones are not cheap. At least it should last you!
Popular with the Victorian middle classes, it had become symbolic of a Middle-Class standing. George Orwell’s novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying is a story in which its main character calls the plant a symbol of the need of the middle class to maintain respectability. That may or may not put you off but, I love a plant with a good back story. It certainly takes more than a plant to achieve a high social standing, otherwise, with my collection at home, I would have to be on the celebrity A list!
Fun fact: the leaves used to be used widely in Japan for decorative purposes within Bento Boxes. Nowadays they are usually replaced by those plastic things (yuk).
The Aspidistra Elatior looks beautifully simplistic, adding a sumptuous green flash to the surroundings, complimenting an oriental style pot, or basket style planter like our “Bohemian Zayn” very well.