The Snake Plant Family – A Super Quick Explanation (2021)

The snake plant belongs to what plant family? Due to the way it looks and because of its name, you may be wondering what it is. Additionally, this plant can grow indoors and outdoors, so you want to learn more about it. Therefore, we are going to tell you everything you need to know.

The Snake Plant Belongs to the Family Asparagaceae

The snake plant’s binomial name is Dracaena trifasciata. In addition to Sansevieria aureovariegata, the name also occurs as Sansevieria jacquinii, Sansevieria laurentii, and Sansevieria trifasciata It is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, st. george’s sword, viper’s bowstring hemp, or snake plant. You can see the scientific classification of this plant in the list below.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Subfamily: Nolinoideae
  • Genus: Dracaena
  • Species: D. trifasciata

Clearly from the list above, snake plant is a member of the Asparagaceae family. It is unclear why mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword, or snake plant are all names given to this plant. Its leaves have a distinctive shape and have sharp edges. Furthermore, this plant is also known as viper’s bowstring hemp. Bowstrings were originally made from plant fibers collected from plant sources.

Snake plants are perennial plants that grow dense stands and spread by way of their creeping, sometimes above ground and sometimes underground rhizomes, according to Wiki 2. Snake plant leaves are stiff and grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with light grey-green edges and they are usually 70 to 90 centimeters long and 5 to 6 centimeters wide. In optimal conditions, they can reach heights of over 2 meters.

About the Asparagaceae

This snake plant belongs to the family Asparagaceae, as I mentioned above. In monocots, it is a group of flowering plants grouped under the order Asparagales. The most well-known asparagus is Asparagus officinalis, the garden asparagus. We’ll now explore its taxonomy.

When the previous classification system was in use, the species with which these experiments were concerned were often referred to as Liliaceae. Two options were provided by APG II in 2003 as to how the family was circumscribed:

  • Asparagaceae sensu lato’ (in the wider sense) combining seven previously recognized families, or
  • Asparagaceae sensu stricto consists of very few genera in the strict sense mainly Asparagus and Hemiphylacus, but totalling a few hundred species.

In 2009, APG III was revised only to permit broader interpretations of its concepts. To correspond to the seven originally separate families that were proposed and published at the same time by a paper, there are seven subfamilies. Below is a list of them.

  • subfamily Agavoideae = family Agavaceae and family Hesperocallidaceae (the agaves, yuccas, joshua trees)
  • subfamily Aphyllanthoideae = family Aphyllanthaceae
  • subfamily Asparagoideae = family Asparagaceae sensu stricto
  • subfamily Brodiaeoideae = family Themidaceae
  • subfamily Lomandroideae = family Laxmanniaceae
  • subfamily Nolinoideae = family Ruscaceae
  • subfamily Scilloideae = family Hyacinthaceae (hyacinths, bluebells, and squills)

In Asparagaceae, there are 114 genera and ca 2900 species.

Plants in the Asparagaceae Family

In addition to snake plants, there are other plants in the family Asparagaceae.

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)

Plants of this species are common in Finland’s central and southern regions. Towards the north, it becomes rarer. Its pure white flowers and enchanting fragrance make it popular for summer wedding bouquets and flower vases.

Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus)

Southern and western Europe are native habitats for this plant. A number of plants grow there as well. It is a plant that has been used for thousands of years and is considered to be a medicinal and useful plant. Even the roots and rhizomes of this plant are believed to stimulate fertility, increase milk production in nursing mothers, and relieve menstrual pain.

Maianthemum bifolium (May Lily)

Almost everywhere in Finland, including Lapland, this plant grows. Frost and direct sunlight can damage this plant. Flies appear to be one of the most important pollinators for this plant. Only about a quarter of flowers can produce berries.

Muscari botryoides (Small Grape Hyacinth)

In the early spring, these flowers appear with croci and squills. It produces pitcher-shaped, spherical flowers in the inflorescence. On the ends of their racemes, they have sterile flowers that serve only to attract pollinators.

Polygonatum multiflorum (Solomon’s Seal)

Comparing it to its more common relative, the angular Solomon’s seal (P. odoratum), this plant is rarer and more demanding. In some cases, it is hard to tell the species apart since they look so similar.

Snake Plants Origin

Snake plants derive their tropical origins from West Africa, according to Succulent City. African culture includes even these plants. It is considered to be a form of spiritual protection by Nigerians. They use this plant in a ritual to remove the evil eye, a malevolent stare that curses its victims. The plant is also associated with some African gods, such as the god of war.

Moreover, the Chinese also believe snake plants can bring good luck, just like the jade plant. The gods, according to their beliefs, will bestow the eight virtues on the people who take care of it, including long life and prosperity.

Growing and Utilizing Snake Plants

Dracaena trifasciata produces bowstring hemp, like other members of its genus. Historically, it was used to make bowstrings due to its strength. Snake plants are now available as an ornamental plant that can be kept indoors as a houseplant in cooler climates or outdoors in warmer climates. Snake plants are popular as houseplants because they tolerate irregular watering and low light levels.

Dracaena trifasciata, according to the NASA Clean Air Study, has the capability of filtering indoor air where it can remove four of the five primary toxins that contribute to sick building syndrome. The filtration rate on this device is too slow for indoor usage, so it’s important for you to understand that.

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