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Useful Temperate Plants

Aspidistra elatior

Blume

Asparagaceae

+ Synonyms

Aspidistra attenuata Hayata

Aspidistra punctata albomaculata Hook.

Aspidistra variegata (Link) Regel

Plectogyne variegata Link

Common Name: Aspidistra

Aspidistra elatior
Growing plant, showing its potential use as a ground cover
Photograph by: KENPEI
Creative Commons License
Aspidistra elatior Aspidistra elatior Aspidistra elatior Aspidistra elatior

General Information

Aspidistra elatior is an evergreen, perennial plant with a spreading rootstock. The leaves are up to 50 - 60cm tall, they arise singly from along the thick, fleshy rhizome, forming in time a thick mat of growth[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is widely grown as a house plant outside its native range and is also cultivated in gardens where the climate is appropriate - it can make an effective ground cover. It also has a range of traditional medicinal uses.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - Japan (Kuroshima, Suwanose, and Uji Islands), Taiwan, Vietnam.

Habitat

An understory plant, found growing in forests beneath Ardisia crenata and Castanopsis sieboldii[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.60 m
PollinatorsSlugs, Snails
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Aspidistra elatior is a plant of the warm temperate zone, though it can withstand occasional short-lived temperatures down to about -15°c if they are well sited[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. A plant growing under shrubs in Worcestershire, England (where frosts are common), has survived in the garden for over 30 years[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].
Prefers a shady position in a rich well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Tolerates poor soils and drought[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
This plant used to be commonly grown as a house plant, it tolerates considerable neglect[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The roots, stems and leaves are febrifuge, styptic and tonic. The plant is said to strengthen bones and muscles[
147
Title
A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Running Press; Philadelphica.
Year
1977
ISBN
0-914294-92-X
Description
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
].
A decoction of the root, stems or leaves is used in the treatment of abdominal cramps, amenorrhoea, diarrhoea, myalgia, traumatic injuries and urinary stones[
147
Title
A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Running Press; Philadelphica.
Year
1977
ISBN
0-914294-92-X
Description
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
,
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Aspidistras can be grown as a ground cover in a shady position[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in the greenhouse. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts.
Division as the plant comes into growth in the spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Suckers. Best removed in the autumn and grown on in the greenhouse for the first winter.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-09-29. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Aspidistra+elatior>

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