Sansevieria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation' (White Sansevieria) - A beautifully elegant variegated plant with verically inclined 2 to 3 feet long by 1 1/4 inch wide dark green leaves that are dramatically banded with snow white streaks. This species can bloom in summer with sweetly fragrant flowers but this cultivar rarely seems to do so.
Will tolerate low light levels but grows best and flowers if given bright light and even tolerates full sun. Hardy to 30-32° F. Water sparingly and not at all as temperatures dip in winter and can tolerate going months between watering. If growing outdoors in frost free areas keep in a covered patio or under an eave where plants do not receive winter rainfall. A great container plant that needs little care.
This plant was discovered by Gustav Bantel of St. Louis, Missouri who patented the plant (the long expired Plant Patent PP796) in 1948. On the patent application Mr. Bantel stated "The primary object in carrying out this invention was to fix the unusual dark olive green leaves and silver white longitudinal stripes of the leaves, their slender transversely concave rapier shape, and their nearly vertical stiff erectness, diverging upwardly from a short basal rosette." He described the plant as "similar to ordinary sansevieria … however, it differs distinctly in having its slender ensiform leaves stiffly erect, deeply channeled in the lower portion, extending to 24 inches or more in height with a greatest width about 1 1/4 inches well above the middle and then gradually tapering in graceful curvature to an acute stiff point … In color the inner concave face is mostly dark olive green streaked with silver white with outer convexly curved face much lighter with dark green streaks narrower and more numerous and interspersed with narrow streaks of silvery white." Sansevieria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation' won the coveted Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
The type plant of this species was collected in Nigeria and it was also found in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) but it has naturalized elsewhere and there are many selected forms in cultivation. The name for the genus was originally Sanseverinia as named by the Italian botanist Vincenzo Petagna in honor of his patron, Pietro Antonio Sanseverino, the Count of Chiaromonte (1724-1771), but the name was altered for unknown reasons by the Swedish naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg, possibly influenced by the name of Raimondo di Sangro (1710–1771), prince of San Severo in Italy. The specific epithet combines the Latin words 'tri" meaning three with 'fasciatus' meaning "banded" in reference to the many leaf markings. Long placed in the Agavaceae, the Dracaenaceae and by some in the Ruscaceae families, Sansevieria was most recently placed in the subfamily Nolinoideae within the Asparagaceae family. Molecular phylogenetic studies have persuaded some to include Sansevieria in the genus Dracaena, which would make this plants name Dracaena trifasciata. Because of considerable disagreement over this change, the long standing use of its old name, and so not to cause our own and customer confusion, we continue to list this plant as a Sansevieria.
Information about Sansevieria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.