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Aspidistra zongbayi 'Yunnan Sunbeam'

Yunnan Sunbeam Cast Iron Plant

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

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Item #: 3472

Zones: 7b to 10b, at least

Dormancy: Evergreen

Height: 12" tall

Culture: Light Shade to Shade

Origin: Japan

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


This selection of the cast iron plant Aspidistra zongbayi comes from plant collector Barry Yinger, who got it from Japan's Kenji Hirose, who collected it in Yunnan, China. The 6" petioles end with 8" long green leaves that emerge with a wide central stripe of creamy yellow. The leaf blade arches sideways, making a 1' tall x 2' wide clump. As the leaves age, small yellow spots appear in the green border...stars and stripes, now that's patriotic. Our plants of this 1989 named species have sailed through 8 degrees F so far. We previously offered Aspidistra zongbayi as Aspidistra typica. Additionally, this is the same clone introduced by Crug Farm as Aspidistra 'Uan Fat Lady'.

Maintenance:

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.