A species of Dracaena trifasciata, native to tropical West Africa from Nigeria east to the Congo, is a member of the Asparaguaceae family. There are many names given to it, including snake plant, Saint George’s sword, mother-in-law’s tongue, and sheild hemp. Until 2017, it was named Sansevieria trifasciata.
Due to the shape and sharp edges of its leaves, Dracaena trifasciata is commonly referred to as a snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, or Saint George’s sword. A variety of this plant fiber is used to make bowstrings, so it is also called “viper’s bowstring hemp”.
Plants of the genus Begonia grow on thick evergreen rhizomes that sometimes show through the ground, sometimes appearing below. A rosette of leaves arranged vertically has mature leaves that are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding in summer with the length and width usually ranging from 70–90 cm (2.3–3.0 ft; 20–24 in) in temperature ideal for the plant.
By using crassulacean acid metabolism, the plants exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, which enables them to withstand drought. A plant’s small pores, called stomata, are only open at night, in order to prevent water from evaporating, which occurs during the hot day. In contrast, most plants which flow constantly throughout the day release stored oxygen when the stomata open at night.
The plant is now mostly grown as a houseplant in colder climates and as an ornamental plant in warmer climates. The plant is popular as a houseplant because it requires only occasional watering in the winter and can tolerate low light levels. A common houseplant for beginners whose aim is to cultivate houseplants, it’s easy to care for and rot if overwatered.
D. trifasciata was found to be capable of removing 4 of the 5 major toxins in the air, thereby reducing the likelihood that a sick building will trigger the occurrence of the condition. However, its surface area is too small for practical indoor use.
While widely grown as an ornamental plant beyond the tropics in both pots and garden beds, as well as as an indoor plant in temperate areas, D. trifasciata is considered by some authorities to be a potential weed in Australia.
Dogs and cats may be mildly toxic to saponins contained in the plant. Also, saponins contain flavonoids that can cause gastrointestinal upset if they consume them.
The genus Sansevieria contains more than 70 species, which have been given the common name ‘Snake Plant’.
There are many Sansevieria available, so regardless of whether you already have one or are considering one, you can find something you’ll enjoy. Here are ten Sansevierias that snake plant lovers will consider.
This snake plant cultivar is often found in large numbers and it comes in a variety of colors. The leaves of some have a deep green color, while others are variegated, and some even have curly leaves.
Plants of this species are native to West Africa, and their leaves are usually three feet in length and 2.5 inches in width at maturity. They are popular for landscaping and are used at home as an accent.
A great choice for beginners and experienced gardeners alike, Sansevieria trifasciata is easy to care for.
It prefers well-draining soil: too much moisture can result in root rot. It requires moderate light, but it can survive in low light environments.
Generally, the leaves stay below approximately 18 inches in height. This Snake Plant is among the more petite varieties.
It blooms in late fall, usually with clusters of greenish-white flowers. The green and white bands are long and pointed, as with most Sansevierias.
The Sansevieria gracilis can grow in partial sunlight or in full shade, but the colors will not be as vibrant. Sansevieria gracilis can tolerate low light or full shade as long as it’s bright.
It is possible to propagate Sansevieria varieties through leaf cuttings, offsets, and so on.
A mature Sanseveria canaliculate leaf can grow up to three feet long and about an inch in diameter. It may be branched into two leaves at a time.
A native of Madagascar, this Snake Plant flowers in the spring. The flowers are tubular and appear greenish-white.
A well-draining soil and bright, filtered light make Sansevieria canaliculate’s needs undemanding. Infrequent watering keeps it healthy.
In temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, this plant must be protected while it is frost-tolerant.
An ‘upright’ sansevieria with short, cylindrical leaves, it is native to eastern Africa and can get up to two inches in diameter and three feet in length.
In bloom, the plants have clusters of grayish-white flowers that are typically dark green with light green stripes.
A brighter light can bring out the natural colors of Sansevieria patens, but the plant will grow well in most light levels as well.
This plant isn’t frost hardy and needs protection or to be brought in during frigid weather. It prefers to be watered infrequently and deeply.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’
The leaves of this Sansevieria are a deep green color with gold edges. This species can reach four feet in height at maturity.
Unlike other Sansevieria plants, this cultivar has sword-shaped leaves that grow vertically in a clump on a slender stem, except that it rarely blooms.
Laurentii needs moderately bright light. Bright light tends to make the leaves brighter, but full sunlight can burn leaves. Infrequent watering is best, especially during the winter. Draining soil is essential for preventing root rot.
Native to Angola, this cylindrical snake plant is sometimes called the African spear. The smooth, rounded leaves can reach six feet tall and can be larger than other Sansevieria species.
Traditionally, the leaves are braided before they are fully grown to stay in place and to control growth. This results in an eye-pleasing arrangement.
As long as you live in a warm climate, you can use Sansevieria cylindrica for landscaping.
A good drainage system is an essential requirement for this plant, and water should be provided only rarely. The plant itself is mildly toxic, so exercise care when planting it in a location where children or animals can easily access it.
Among Snake Plant varieties, Sansevieria fischeri stands less than 16 inches tall when mature.
In the summer, it produces an inflorescence with tubular white flowers. It’s ideal in containers, but has been grown outside successfully as well.
Snake Plants need plenty of sun, and they do well with adequate drainage. They are not frost tolerant, so you should bring them inside if the temperature dips below freezing.
Sometimes called Whale fin or Shark fin, this plant grows in a savannah habitat of central Africa and reaches four feet in length with leaves that are mottled and slender.
This plant can easily be identified by its purple-banded sheath, which is often below the soil line. The paddle-shaped leaves may also be variegated, depending on the cultivar.
A Sansevieria masoniana prospers in bright light. In fact, if it doesn’t receive enough sunlight, it is unlikely to bloom.
You should never allow the Snake Plant to get too wet, or water it standing water. It will not tolerate extremes of temperature, so you need to protect it from freezing temperatures.
Here are just a small selection from the many Sansevieria varieties available. Snake Plants are suitable for both indoor and outdoor gardens alike.
With so many varieties and colors to choose from, how do you choose just one? They’re easy to take care of and are a great choice for both expert and inexperienced gardeners.
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