I've been helping my grandmother dig up a plant from her garden in North Carolina, and I'm trying to identify it. I've been looking at plant ID sites and the closest one in leaves is the Peace Lily, but this has no blooms. It spreads easily and the roots resemble something that might be tubers. Or how ginseng looks. It's thick. They don't go too deep in the ground.

The leaves are pretty close to Peace Lily, but they don't round out as much. These shoot up in like a roll and slowly unroll. They're a solid deep green. They're not really shiny or waxy. They're smooth but sturdy.

During the summer, they were growing in a big clump in the sun. Since winter has come she's moved all the plants she could to the basement, so they're not getting much sun at the moment.

She's dividing them up to give to people as houseplants, so we'd really like to know what they are.

I'll try to add pics soon!

EDIT: So, I have some new info and pictures! My grandmother told me that the original plant that she transplanted bits of to the garden outside...That she's had it for 50 years! She said that her mother gave it to her and she's been caring for that and a few others since then. I have no idea what kind of plant this could be! XD

Leaf in relation to my hand

What the roots look like

What the unfurling leaves look like when growing

Pic of the full plant

Little bit better looking pic of the full plant

  • 1
    You used the tag "houseplant", yet you write "from her garden" - could you clarify, please?
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 9:08
  • If you post a picture of the plant here, perhaps we can identify it for you.
    – THelper
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:56
  • Welcome to the site! I notice you live in Texas. Is that where this plant is? Is it in the sun or shade? How old? About the leaves: how tall do they shoot up? Light or dark green? One color or with stripes or sections of other colors? Waxy/shiny like in these questions? Pictures would give us most of that information, but anything else you can edit into your question would be great! Hopefully Stephie has figured it out for you! Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 22:58
  • Stephie, She pulled them from her garden to give as small house plants. THelper, I am working on it I've been working and when I get off it's too dark to get a good picture. Sue, I am currently in North Carolina. My grandmother is 96 and I came to visit and help her here for the past 5 months. While outside all clumped together it was in full sun. Since winter has come she's moved all the plants she could, including what I had to dig out of the ground, to the basment. They don't get much sun down there. These are solid deep green color. <Continued 1/2>
    – Hush
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 5:41
  • <Continued 2/2> Not really shiny and not really waxy either.. Smooth but sturdy for sure though.
    – Hush
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 5:42

2 Answers 2


It's an Aspidistra elatior; a common name is the cast iron plant. It has been grown at least from Victorian times in unheated, cold and draughty areas, so it is very hardy in the southern UK indoors, and outdoors in areas without too much cold or frost/snow.

For more information see the Royal Horticultural Society page linked above.

  • Welcome Rosie! On my computer the pictures are quite dark, but it certainly looks right to me, so thanks for the help. I hope you stay and enjoy the site. We'd like to get to know more about you and your garden! Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 17:59
  • Oh nice! Thank you! It does say they have a bloom... but as far as my grandmother knows it has never "bloomed". Is there a species that doesn't? or does the bloom not last long that she could have missed it?
    – Hush
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 22:30
  • 1
    The flowers are small and insignificant, so blink and you miss them I think. Mine is part of my great aunts that she was given in a pot for her wedding. She died about 20years ago at the age of 90. So definately family treasures in the g
    – user13638
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 11:54
  • 1
    Garden or house I meant to add. One to pass around the family.
    – user13638
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 11:55
  • Well thank you for your input! I was searching high and low for an answer lol
    – Hush
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 20:54

Looks like plants my Grandmother & Mother had indoors in The Bronx; we called it Snake Plant & when I moved to the DC area folks called it Mother in law's Tongue?

  • 2
    Sansevieria trifasciata, by other terms.
    – user13580
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 18:38
  • This isn't a Snake Plant. I have a mini one but this ended up being Cast Iron plant. The one you are thinking of I think, Jim has answered :)
    – Hush
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 19:06

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