San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for MAY

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

Products > Sansevieria bhitalae 'Superclone'
Sansevieria bhitalae 'Superclone'
Image of Sansevieria bhitalae 'Superclone'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asparagaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: Africa, East (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Dracaena bhitalae, S.kirkii 'Superclone']
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Sansevieria bhitalae 'Superclone' - A tall robust Snakeplant with a typical clump having 3 to 4 vertically inclined blue-gray colored leaves that can reach 4 to 6 feet tall and have a slightly wavy brown edge. Though not inclined to flower with any regularity, the individual lightly fragrant white flowers are over 6 inches long in a cluster that can be a foot wide atop a 2-foot-long inflorescence.

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, particularly if growing outdoors - can tolerate going months between watering and if grown outdoors in California but does need to be kept under an eave or some other protection from winter rainfall and cold. A great large container plant for interior or exterior use that needs little care.

This plant has been sold under the name Sansevieria kirkii 'Superclone' since 1981 after first being named this by the late Dave Grigsby of Grigsby Cactus Garden (Sansevieria kirkii var. kirkii - Superclone #81-071). Grigsby reportedly got the plant from the Heidelberg Botanic Garden and was originally collected by Peter Bally in Kenya, Uganda. It looks superficially like Sansevieria kirkii but the color is grayer and the long thicker leaves more stiffly upright and it has long been suspected of being an undescribed species or aligned with another species. The name Sansevieria kirkii var. kirkii 'Superclone' or just Sansevieria 'Superclone' was used for this plant for 37 years and likely will be referred as this for years to come but in March 2018 Bob Web and Len Newton described this plant as Sansevieria bhitalae in an article titled "Sansevieria bhitalae R.H. Webb & L.E. Newton - A New Species in Central Tanzania" in the journal Sansevieria (Volume 37).

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 (17101771), prince of San Severo in Italy. The spellings "Sanseveria" and "Sanseviera" are also commonly seen. The specific epithet honors Tanzanian nurseryman Bhwire Bhitala who specializes in the indigenous Sansevieria of East Africa and collected this same plant in central Tanzania. We have changed our listing of this plant to Sansevieria bhitalae but so not to confuse our customers we continue to list the name "Superclone" as well.

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 bhitalae. 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. Our original stock plant came from the collection of Sansevieria collector Alice Waidhofer. 

This information about Sansevieria bhitalae 'Superclone' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.