Aspidistra Ker Gawl.

Cast Iron Plant

Greek Aspidister - a small rounded shield, referring to the stigma.

Perennial stemless rhizomatous herbs with thick roots. Leaves several along rhizomes. Flowers opening at soil level, bell- to urn-shaped, erect, spreading, radially symmetrical, stalked, stalks articulated. Inflorescences subterranean, 1-flowered, axillary.Tepals 8, fused. Stamens 8, fused to tepals and hidden under style. Style 1, large, umbrella-like, expanded and flattened. Fruit a berry. Seeds brownish-yellow.

Grown, often in pots, for the picturesque leaves. A popular pot plant of the 1920s and 1930s.

Widely grown as a moist or sheltered garden, shade house or in moderate to heavy shade.

About 55 species from the Himalayas through temperate Asia to southern Japan, most species endemic to China.

The erect broad leaves from the rhizome and the strange urn-like flowers borne at ground level with the large stigmas.

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Convallariaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Asparagaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Aspidistra elatior Blume
species         Aspidistra lurida Ker Gawl.