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Products > Aspidistra 'Little John'
Aspidistra 'Little John' - Dwarf Cast Iron Plant
Image of Aspidistra 'Little John'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Liliaceae (Lilies)
Origin: China (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Aspidistra 'Little John' (Dwarf Cast Iron Plant) - Perennial with narrow 1 foot long dark green leaves that rise vertically from a slowly spreading rhizome to eventually form dense clumps. This is a much smaller version of the more common Cast Iron plant. It is similar to 'Ginga Minor' which we grew for many years but it does not have the spotting on the foliage such as that cultivar has. 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 shade areas under eaves or interior courtyards, or in filtered light. For this reason it has earned its reputation as a nearly indestructible houseplant. 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. This species 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. We received this plant in 2019 from John Greenlee. It likely has some cultivar name that we don't know but for now have given it the name 'Little John' to indicate its stature and to honor our source.  The information about Aspidistra 'Little John' displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.