Rhizomatous perennial herbaceous variety, native to East Asia and Africa, widespread in many parts of Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It looks like a dense clump of long dark green leathery leaves, which grow directly from the roots, thick and fleshy; some varieties have variegated or speckled leaves, usually white or cream colored. The flowers of this lead plant are very particular, and often escape the view, in fact they sprout directly into the ground, among the leaves, they are purple, tending to brown, often speckled with light, they bloom in summer and can be followed by a single blackish berry containing the seeds. It is also known by the name lead plant.
The aspidistra is an evergreen ornamental plant native to eastern Asia. For a long time it was a highly appreciated plant, in fact it was seen very frequently on balconies, landings or city gardens. Then it fell into disuse, perhaps because it is present everywhere or because of its not particularly refined appearance, but recently it has returned to fashion thanks above all to its particular resistance and "minimalist" character.
The aspidistra is characterized by a thick foliage that develops from a fleshy rhizome.
Flowers and leaves of the aspidistra
The spear-shaped leaves resemble those of the lily of the valley, but are much larger and more resistant. They are equipped with a 10 cm stem and reach a height that varies from 30 cm to 50 cm. With an intense green color on the upper page, lighter on the lower one, they have a full margin, have a leathery consistency and are characterized by evident longitudinal ribs. The fleshy purple flowers appear at ground level at the end of the winter period, therefore they are not particularly evident because they are hidden by the thick foliage; however, plants kept in apartments only rarely bloom. Flowering lasts just a few days and, although it does not have a particular decorative value, it hints that the plant is in good condition.
There are some species of aspidistra with leaves with shades of different colors, but they are less common and require positions in bright light.