Aspidistra vietnamensis 'Ginga'

Ginga Vietnamense Speckled Cast Iron Plant

This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.

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Item #: 2182

Zones: 7b 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 vietnamensis 'Ginga' is a long cultivated, but hopelessly confused in the horticulture trade cast iron plant. It is usually sold as Aspidistra 'Milky Way', which it is not, since the true Aspidistra 'Milky Way' (aka 'Amanogawa') has leaves displaying both stripes and spots. To complicate matters further, Aspidistra 'Ginga', which has been in commerce for well over a century as both a house plant and landscape staple in low-light conditions throughout the deep south, was just published as species in 2018. The 18" tall, narrow, dark green leaves are speckled creamy white, as though a low-bid painter just finished the ceiling above. In early spring, you will find the bizarre, lily pad-like flowers of rich purple at the base of the foliage, where they are usually appreciated only by snails and slugs. Before Aspidistra vietnamensis was formerly described, we listed this as a form of Aspidistra lurida and later Aspidistra sichuanensis.


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.