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[as-pi-dis-truh] /ˌæs pɪˈdɪs trə/
any of several plants belonging to the genus Aspidistra, of the lily family, native to eastern Asia, especially A. eliator, having large evergreen leaves often striped with white, and grown as a houseplant.
Also called barroom plant, cast-iron plant, iron plant.
Origin of aspidistra
1815-25; < New Latin, equivalent to aspid- (< Greek: stem of aspís shield) + -istra, extracted from Tupistra genus of liliaceous plants < Greek typís mallet + Latin -tra plural of -trum noun suffix denoting instrument Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aspidistra
Historical Examples
  • The modesty of the violet is nowhere when compared with the aspidistra!

    Small Gardens Violet Purton Biddle
  • An aspidistra (please note spelling) is the best plant there is for roughing it.

    Small Gardens Violet Purton Biddle
  • The open inner door showed a bright linoleum on the floor, and the end of a brown side-board on which stood an aspidistra.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for aspidistra


any Asian plant of the liliaceous genus Aspidistra, esp A. lurida, a popular house plant with long tough evergreen leaves and purplish flowers borne on the ground
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek aspis shield, on the model of Tupistra genus of liliaceous plants
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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