The aptly named cast iron plant survives in situations like low light and little water that would kill off lesser species. This plant has glossy, coarse-textured, lance-shaped leaves that grow upright. Its native habitat is on the forest floor in East Asia and China, so it's well-adapted to cool areas with little light.
The University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service calls the cast iron plant "unsurpassable" for its "dependable" dark green foliage [source: UF]. And if you're a neglectful gardener, so much the better as this plant thrives on somewhat poor soil and dryness between watering. For best results, make sure the soil drains well. The plant will do OK in bright light, but it could get bleached of color.
And finally, if a small, leafy indoor tree is what you're dreaming of, go to the next page.