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House Plant Index

CAST IRON PLANT
Aspidistra elatior

Flowers Feb., but seldom in house
Potting or re-potting time March or April
Position in garden during summer Semi-shade
Potting Mixture 4

Aspidistra is a member of the lily family. Next to its remarkable ability to withstand abuse and neglect, the tough evergreen leaves are its main attribute. Occasionally it flowers in the house; when it does, groups of purplish-brown are appear at the ground level near the base of the leaves.

The sharp-pointed leaves, which are numerous, are 15 to 24 inches long, each with a channeled stalk about one-third the length of the leaf blade. One horticultural variety of Aspidistra elatior has attractive leaves striped in white. Very complete drainage is essential to maintain the striping, for the plant soon reverts to plain green leaves without it. 0ld brown-spotted foliage should be entirely removed to encourage new growth.

Propagation is undertaken in the early spring, at which time the roots may be cut into numerous pieces, each with a leaf attached, and potted separately. In two months, the new plants should be thriving lustily.


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