[ 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.



Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for aspidistra

  • 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
  • An aspidistra (please note spelling) is the best plant there is for roughing it.

    Small Gardens|Violet Purton Biddle
  • The modesty of the violet is nowhere when compared with the aspidistra!

    Small Gardens|Violet Purton Biddle

British Dictionary definitions for aspidistra

/ (ˌæspɪˈdɪstrə) /


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 for aspidistra

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