Aspidistra elatior ‘Asahi’
Asahi Castiron Plant. When I first saw this cultivar, I thought I was dreaming. The 16-20" leaves were all tipped with a white "air brush" look, and in the deep shade garden, this effect is dramatic. When I first got a start of this cultivar, I was so disappointed as all of its leaves grew out completely green. Tony Avent decided that I had a bad clone. I got so disgusted that I took all of the containers which I had been building up and planted them in my garden, which is poor white sand, just to get rid of them. And, voila, the next spring every emerging leaf looked like a small white Calla lily flower sprouting from the soil! The problem was that the high nitrogen fertilizer that I was using to help speed up growth to build up numbers was suppressing the variegation. We have found a number of variegated plants which react like this. One of the principle ones being Fatsia japonica 'Spider Web.' If your garden is beyond the zonal range of Aspidistras, use it as a house plant where it thrives under low light. And remember, very little fertilizer.