Common Names: Aspidistra, Cast-Iron Plant, Iron Plant

Botanical names: Aspidistra elatior, as-pi-DIS-tra e-LAY-tee-or

Availability: Year round

Vase life: Several weeks

Storage temperatures: Chill sensitive, store above 55F.

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Large, glossy, dark green leaves up to 30 inches long and 4 inches wide. The leaves are typically lance-shaped or elliptical, with stiff short stems.

Color: dark green

Botanical facts: Native to China. Relatives include asparagus, lily-of-the-valley, daylily and hyacinth.

Design notes: The glossy, dark green leaves provide a unique texture that adds depth and interest to floral arrangements. The leaves can be manipulated and shaped to create different visual effects, such as loops, curls, or folds. Their durability makes them ideal for use in floral designs that need to last for extended periods.

Purchasing hints: Select leaves that are of perfect green color, without yellowing, blemishes or damage.

Conditioning: Cut two inches off of the stem ends with a sharp knife. Hydrate in water only for two hours before storage or usage. Store in water only.

Additional notes: In Victorian England, Aspidistra became a symbol of middle-class respectability and endurance, often featured in literature and household decor.