Native to Japan and China. Useful, low-maintenance plant for massing in a shade garden. Thick, arching or erect tufts of evergreen, leathery leaves, each to 2 feet long, 23 inches wide. Pale yellow flowers bloom on small spikes in early spring; they're barely noticeable amid the foliage but are followed by showy red berries. Grows slowly. Space plants about 1 feet apart. Withstands neglect and is not fussy about soils. Combines well with ferns, hostas, hellebores. Several selections with leaves variegated in cream or white are available, including white- streaked 'Gunjaku'; white-edged 'Miyako No Jo' and 'Chirimen Boshi'; 'Mure Suzume', with white streaking that intensifies toward leaf edges; and 'Suncrest', with a raised white area running down the center of each leaf. 'Nobori Ryu' has crinkled green leaves with raised ridges down the center.