Aspidistra pulchella 'Stretch Marks'

Stretch Marks Cast Iron Plant

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Item #: 7059

Zones: 8a to 10b

Dormancy: Evergreen

Height: 18" tall

Culture: Light Shade to Shade

Origin: China

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

Aspidistra 'Stretch Marks' is a 2007 Plant Delights/JLBG introduction that we selected from a group of the rare Chinese native Aspidistra pulchella. Each broad (10" long x 3" wide) medium green leaf is liberally speckled with random, creamy yellow, non-concentric spots which seem to have been stretched into oval patterns. The leaves are held atop thin, 8" long, chicken-leg-like stalks. Aspidistra 'Stretch Marks' makes a tight clump, adorned in midsummer (late June in NC) with flowers that lay on the soil and resemble 1.5" wide, small psychedelic Star of Davids...I'm not making this up. We have had this cast iron plant in our Zone 7b garden since 2003 and although it gets fried to the ground every winter, it always returns in late spring. Aspidistra pulchella remains evergreen to the low 20's, but in colder climates makes a wonderful houseplant.


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. 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.

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.