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Any plant of the genus Aspidistra (lily family), native to eastern Asia and known for ornamental foliage. The only cultivated species is a houseplant commonly known as cast-iron plant (A. elatior, or A. lurida), which has long, stiff, pointed evergreen leaves that are capable of withstanding temperature extremes, dust, smoke, and other harsh conditions. The solitary, bell-shaped flowers, which are usually lilac in colour but sometimes brown or green, are borne at the base of the plant. The fruits are small berries.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on aspidistra, visit Britannica.com.