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Products > Sansevieria trifasciata 'Black Coral'
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Black Coral' - Black Mother-in-law's Tongue
Image of Sansevieria trifasciata 'Black Coral'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asparagaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: Africa, East (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Dracaena trifasciata cv.]
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: Clumping
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Black Coral' - A clumping plant to 3 feet tall with narrow leaves that have wide gray-green wavy horizontal bands over a dark green background. The leaves are so dark when they first emerge, they almost appear black and these younger leaves lack any of the banding that shows up as the leaves age.

Plant in part sun or bright to deep shade in a well-drained soil and irrigate regularly to occasionally in the warmer months. As with many other Sansevieria trifasciata varieties this plant is easy-to-grow as an indoor plant or outdoor in near frost free climates in a pot so long as soil drains adequately and is kept relatively dry through the winter months - a great plant under a protected eave. Not that this plant would seem to be attractive to pets but we do need to note that the ASPCA lists Sansevieria trifasciata as poisonous to dogs and cats, noting they can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. On the flip side, in 1989 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), published "A study of interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement" authored by B. C. Wolverton, Willard L. Douglas and Keit Bounds, that listed as Sansevieria trifasciata as a plant that reduced certain pollutants (benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene ) concentrations in the air. Because of this study these plants are sometimes marketed as "fresh air" plants that filter toxins from the air. This cultivar is sometimes confused in the trade or claimed to be synonymous with an older Sansevieria trifasciata variety called 'Black Gold', which should have a yellow margin that this one lacks.

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 (17101771), 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. We received this very nice cultivar in 2010 from noted plantsman and aloe hybridizer John Bleck. 

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