Aglaonema modestum

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Aglaonema modestum
At the Belle Isle Conservatory
A wild-type at the United States Botanic Garden
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Aglaonema
A. modestum
Binomial name
Aglaonema modestum
  • Aglaonema acutispathum N.E.Br.
  • Aglaonema laoticum Gagnep.

Aglaonema modestum, called Chinese evergreen, green-for-ten-thousand-years, and lily of China, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Aglaonema, native to Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and southeast and south-central China.[2] In these areas, it is found in tropical swamps and rainforests.[3]


It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]

A. modestum is typically 30–90 cm (1–3 ft) tall and 60–120 cm (2–4 ft) wide. It occasionally produces white spathe-and-spadix flowers that give way to oval-shaped, reddish fruits that are 25–75 mm (1–3 in) long.[5] Its lance-shaped leaves measure 200 mm × 100 mm (8 in × 4 in), and are borne on 300 mm (12 in) stalks that arise from a central growing point.[3]

A. modestum requires a shaded location, and should not be exposed to temperatures below 7 °C (45 °F), which can damage the foliage.[6] It cannot endure direct sunlight and is a good choice for dimly lit rooms. It requires ample moisture except for a very short winter rest period, in which watering can be somewhat reduced. Young plants should be repotted every spring, while mature specimens need be repotted only every two to three years.[7]


This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which are poisonous to humans, dogs, cats, and horses. If ingested, it may cause severe burning and swelling in the mouth and tongue. Contact with the sap may also cause skin irritation.[5]


  1. ^ Candolle & Candolle, Monogr. Phan. 2: 442 (1879)
  2. ^ a b "Aglaonema modestum Schott ex Engl". Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Plants & Flowers » Aglaonema modestum". Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Aglaonema modestum Chinese evergreen". The Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 13 January 2021. Other common names; … green-for-ten-thousand-years, lily of China
  5. ^ a b "Aglaonema modestum (Chinese Evergreen) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  6. ^ "FPS25/FP025: Aglaonema modestum Chinese Evergreen". Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  7. ^ Chiusoli, Alessandro; Boriani, Luisa Maria (1986). Simon & Schuster's guide to houseplants. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0671631314.