We’re preparing for the release of a new cast of characters for 2024, through our current funding arm, Plant Delights Nursery. One of the “cast” that we’ve been trialing for six years is a new cast iron plant hybrid from Japan, Aspidistra ‘Hanado Raku’ PPAF. This is one of those plants that elicits all kind of wows from visitors.
Not only does it have more spots that we typically see in the genus, but the spots are white, compared to the typical yellow. After studying the flowers, we are convinced this is a hybrid with Aspidistra sichuanensis. In our trials, we saw no damage at 15 degrees F, but did experience significant leaf burn in a subsequent year at 11 degrees F, so it should be fine in most of Zone 8, but probably not much further north. In our container trials, it looks incredible, so it will make a fabulous house plant.
We are honored that the Japanese breeder and the US marketing firm have allowed us to introduce this to the world. Despite six years worth of propagation, we expect our stock not to last very long. This is only the second cast iron plant to be patented.