|Sansevieria trifasciata subsp. var.|
Sansevieria trifasciata is a species of Sansevieria, native to tropical west Africa. It is commonly called the snake plant, because of the shape of its leaves, or mother-in-law's tongue because of their sharpness.
It is an evergreen herbaceous perennial plant forming dense stands, spreading by way of its creeping rhizome, which is sometimes above ground, sometimes underground. Its stiff leaves grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and usually range between 70–90 cm in length and 5–6 cm in width.
It is now used predominantly as an ornamental plant, outdoors in warmer climates, and indoors as a houseplant in cooler climates. It is popular as a houseplant as it is tolerant of low light levels and irregular watering; during winter it needs only one watering every couple of months. It will rot easily if overwatered.
S. trifasciata is currently considered a weed in Australia.
It can be propagated cuttings or by dividing the rhizome. The first method has the disadvantage that the variegation is likely to be lost.
Pests and diseases
Numerous cultivars have been selected, many of them for variegated foliage with yellow or silvery-white stripes on the leaf margins. Popular cultivars include 'Compacta', 'Goldiana', 'Hahnii', 'Laurentii', 'Silbersee', and 'Silver Hahnii'.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963