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Plants of the UNF Campus

Aspidistra elatior - Cast iron plant
Family Ruscaceae


Various references state that the genus Aspidistra contains about seven to thirty species. Whatever the count, all are native to Asia. They are leafy herbaceous plants with stems below ground. This species has been cultivated as a house plant for many years. Its rugged tolerance of dry, shady places earned it the common name, cast iron plant. Broad, evergreen leaves grow to two feet tall. Clusters of yellow flowers are borne at ground level and are hidden by the leaves. It is thought that these flowers are pollinated by slugs and snails.


Plants can be seen at several locations around campus, including a planter east of building 2, a planter west of building 1, and in the OutTakes Plaza.


A herbaceous plant with leaves about two feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: shade

Water: well-drained soil, drought tolerant

Soil: adaptable to soil types, no other special requirements

This is a reliable garden plant for Jacksonville. It grows best in a shady, well-drained area and makes a great groundcover under shade trees. It grows steadily but not aggressively.

Aspidistra elatior