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any Asian plant of the liliaceous genus Aspidistra, esp A. lurida, a popular house plant with long tough evergreen leaves and purplish flowers borne on the ground



a genus of perennial stemless grasses of the family Liliaceae. Aspidistras have basal evergreen leathery leaves and small flowers that sit upon short scapes near the ground. There are between six and eight species distributed in the mountains of South and East Asia and Japan. In the USSR, Aspidistra lurida (A. elatior) is often cultivated in greenhouses and indoors under the name “friendly family.” It is highly tolerant of shade. In subtropical regions it can also be cultivated outdoors.


Kiselev, G. E. Tsvetovodstvo, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1964.
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The Aspidistra elatior has corn-like, shiny, dark green leaves that grow to 24 inches long.
minor or Aspidistra Milky Way has white spotted black-green leaves.
Q I HAVE an aspidistra that is of great sentimental value as it belonged to my mum and dad.
Aspidistras are evergreen members of the lily family and originate from eastern Asia.
A LADY contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if we would like a large aspidistra plant to display in the hall.
QI HAVE had an aspidistra for years, but I cannot get it to produce more than three leaves and then they turn brown at the tip.
A few years ago you had more chance of finding bags of composted rocking horse droppings in your local garden centre than aspidistras, but in the last 18 months or so they have started to appear among the exotic house plants.
Aspidistras have come in on the back of the interest in antiques with large pots and stands a feature of any self respecting fair or gallery, so the plants tend to carry a premium for being trendy.