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Products > Aspidistra elatior 'Asahi'
Aspidistra elatior 'Asahi' - Morning Sun Cast Iron Plant
Image of Aspidistra elatior 'Asahi'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Asparagaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: China (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Cream
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [A. 'Ashashi', Hort.]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Aspidistra elatior 'Asahi' (Lime Striped Cast Iron Plant) - Perennial with elegant 20 inches long by 6 inch wide pale green leaves that have an "air brushed" variegation from midway up the leaf to the tip, which is frosted white with this frosting particularly dramatic in winter months. The leaves rise vertically from a slowly spreading rhizome to eventually form dense clumps. Cream and purple-colored flowers in spring are at ground level and are pollinated by snails - while interesting they are rarely seen and not showy.

As with all of the Aspidistra cultivars this plant has the ability to grow in adverse conditions, such as in dark shaded areas, under eaves, in interior courtyards, or in filtered light. Although able to survive these conditions for even extended dry periods, it requires well-drained soil and looks best with regular irrigation and fertilization during spring and summer. Water occasionally to moderately and dust or hose off the leaves to keep them attractive. Hardy in outdoor conditions to short duration temperatures at least down to 15F and to 0 F with mulching. It is noted that the leaves will not display their unique coloration if kept crowded in too small a container and older potted specimens should be divided and repotted for this reason as well.

Aspidistra elatior is native to Taiwan and islands in southern Japan where it grows as a forest understory plant. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'aspidion', meaning "a shield" in reference to the typical broad lanceolate leaves of the species that are shield shaped and the specific epithet means "taller". The cultivar name translates from Japanese to "rising sun" or "morning sun", a fitting name for this plant with its attractive airbrushed appearing white midstripe that has long been used in Japan and Later abroad for flower arranging. It has also been commonly referred to as Lime Striped Cast Iron Plant. We originally received this plant in 1993 from Herb Kelly of Kelly's Plant World in Fresno California. We slowly built stock and were able to offer it at our nursery from 1999 until 2006. We have kept plants in the garden and started growing it again in 2022. This really is our favorite Aspidistra but it seems to suffer some in popularity from those that think its subtle variegation an indication of some malady or nutrient imbalance, while others can recognize this plants variegateion for its unique beauty. 

This information about Aspidistra elatior 'Asahi' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.