Aspidistra gracilis 'Speckled Stalkings'
Speckled Stalkings Cast Iron Plant
Item #: 8628
Zones: 9a to 10b, possibly colder
Height: 15" tall
Origin: Hong Kong
Aspidistra gracilis is a 2012-published new species, named from our collections at Juniper Level Botanic Garden. It was originally discovered by our late adjunct researcher, plantsman, Alan Galloway, on Hong Kong's Lantau Island. The narrow 15" tall x 0.75" wide light green leaves are lightly speckled yellow. Although we have had Aspidistra gracilis 'Speckled Stalkings' planted outdoors since 2002, it burns to the ground each winter and would really prefer a home in Florida or a cozy corner indoors.
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.
Cast iron plants grow well in both moist and dry soils as long as the drainage is good. Aspidistra 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.
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.
Bloom Time: Winter
Container Role: Thrillers
Garden Themes: Living Wall
Other: Deer Resistant Plants , Drought Tolerant Plants , Dry Shade Plants , Pollinator Plants , Medicinal Plants , Plant Delights Introductions , Plants from China , Rabbit Resistant Plants , Salt Tolerant Seaside Plants , Tropical Looking Plants , Colored Foliage , Patterned Foliage , Plants Retiring This Year , House Plants