Aspidistra basalis 'Green Jeans'

Green Jeans Basal Cast Iron Plant

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Item #: 7546

Zones: 7b to 10b, at least

Dormancy: Evergreen

Height: 30" tall

Culture: Light Shade to Shade

Origin: China

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

We were pleased to introduce Aspidistra basalis in 2010, which was subsequently published as a new species in 2012 from our collections. Aspidistra basalis 'Green Jeans' is a clone originally shared by the late plantsman, Greg Speichert who obtained it from China's Nanjing Botanical Garden. Aspidistra basalis 'Green Jeans' has made a great woodland garden plant here at Juniper Level for over a decade, during which time it has formed a nice 4' wide patch of very dark glossy green, 30" tall x 1.5" wide leaves. Aspidistra basalis 'Green Jeans' flowers in January with earth star fungus-like, purple blushed flowers at ground sure to call all your friends when it flowers. On second thought, if these wierd flowers excite you that much, you probably don't have any friends.


Aspidistra are very low maintenance perennials. Each leaf can last up to 3 years, but after the second year, it will begin to show signs of aging and leaf degradation. For that reason, we recommend removing all old foliage regularly to retain the attractiveness of the clump. It's always disappointing to see large patches of cast iron plants in public spaces where it hasn't been properly maintained.

Growing Conditions:

Cast iron plants grow well in both moist and dry soils as long as the drainage is good. They must be grown in shade, since their foliage will scorch if they are subjected to sun. In the jungles where they grow, they are often seen in very deep shade.

In containers, they make superb house plants. The common name cast iron plant speaks to their durability in less than ideal conditions. Regular moisture, including increased humidity when they are grown as house plants, keeps them from getting stressed and becoming susceptible to spider mites.

Garden Value:

The bold texture and upright form of cast iron plants is invaluable in the garden, since there few other plants with this form and texture. Many have amazing flowers, produced at the base of the foliage, often in the winter months. While these flowers are rarely noticed in the garden, they can be quite attractive in the home.