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Home > Products > Succulents > Sansevieria

Sansevieria is a genus of roughly 66 species of semi-succulent monocotyledonous plants that mostly come from Africa. Based on the couple species known that were being cultivated in the early 18th century, they were at first lumped into the genus Aloe by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in his Species Plantarum, later recognized as a distinct genus by the French botanist Michel Adanson in 1763 and finally given the new name Sanseverinia in 1787 by the Italian botanist Vincenzo Petagna. There is some confusion as to whether this was to honor his patron, Pietro Antonio Sanseverino, the Count of Chiaromonte (1724-1771) or Raimond de Sangro, Prince of San-Severo (1710-1774), who was considered the "father of Italian botany" with most believing it to be this latter person who is being honored. Adding to the confusion, the name was altered in 1794 to Sansevieria by the Swedish naturalist and Linnaeus's student Carl Peter Thunberg. In modern texts it is Thurberg who is often credited with the name. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies have also persuaded some to include Sansevieria in the genus Dracaena. There has been considerable disagreement over this change and, for horticultural purposes at least, these plants are still referred to as Sansevieria. Even which family they belong in has changed over the years, with them at times placed in the Liliaceae, Agavaceae, Ruscaceae, Haemodoraceae, Dracaenaceae. The most recent treatment places them in the subfamily Nolinoideae within the Asparagaceae family, but there is still discussion about it being returned to the Ruscaceae with Nolina, Beaucarnea, Dasylirion and Dracaena.

Historically these tough fibrous plants have been used for making ropes, nets and bowstrings, which has garnered them the common names such as African Sisal Bowstring Hemp, but most seem to know them by the somewhat derogatory name Mother-in-law's Tongue, perhaps alluding to their long waving leaves. There are many cultivated forms of the various species, particularly with Sansevieria trifasciata. In general these plants tolerate dry shade and dislike overly wet cool winter conditions. Some can be grown outdoors in our mediterranean climate gardens but the majority seem to do best in containers or when planted in well-drained soil and under an eave to keep the soil drier in winter. Our fascination with this group of plants was heightened by our close association with the late Alice Waidhofer, a Stockton, California succulent collector who specialized in Gasteria and Sansevieria. In 2004 we were fortunate to receive the bulk of Alice's collection after she made sure that the Huntington Botanic Garden and Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden in Thailand got a complete set of the Sansevieria plants that she had.

Sansevieria currently being grown at San Marcos Growers
now showing 1 - 21 of 21 Search String: sansevieria << back | next >>
Sansevieria 'Alice' Tall sword-like succulent w/green leaves w/silver gray horizontal bands. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
Sansevieria ballyi Dwarf Sansevieria - Rosette forming succulent <1' tall w/stolon holding rosettes of short round recurved lvs. Part sun/ shade. Irrigate sparingly. Hardy to 28 F 
Sansevieria bhitalae 'Superclone' Rippled, dark green leaves, smudged with light green form clump up to 4 ft. tall. Sun, but will tolerate low light. Excellent in containers. 30-32 F 
Sansevieria cylindrica Skyline Spear Sansevieria - Robust succulent w/fans of upright rounded gray-green leaves 2-5' long. Give high light indoors or out. Very little water. Protect from cold and wet. 
Sansevieria ehrenbergii Sword Sansevieria - Stout succulent w/blue-green upright 5' long lvs. Rare to flwe. Full to part sun in well-draned soil. Protect from winter moisture and frost. To 30F. 
Sansevieria erythraeae Pencil Sansevieria - Succulent w/fans of upright rounded gray-green leaves 2-3' long. Give high light indoors or out. Very little water. Protect from cold and wet. 
Sansevieria 'Giant Spoon' Giant Spoon Snake Plant - Dark green leaves with light green bands growing 12-18" tall. Excellent houseplant. Bright to deep shade. 30-32 F 
Sansevieria grandis Somali Good Luck Plant - Banded broad short lvs to 2' tall age to solid green. White fragrant flowers. Nice houseplant. Bright to deep shade. 30-32 F 
Sansevieria hallii Baseball Bat - Unusual plant with thick nearly cylindrical upright 12-18" lvs. Bright to low light. Excellent in containers. 30-32 F 
Sansevieria kirkii var. pulchra Rippled, dark green leaves, smudged with light green form clump up to 4 ft. tall. Sun, but will tolerate low light. Excellent in containers. 30-32 F 
Sansevieria masoniana Mason's Congo - Dark green leaves with light green spots growing up to 3-5 ft. tall. Excellent houseplant. Prefers bright position, but will tolerate shade. 30-32 F 
Sansevieria parva Kenya Hyacinth - Rosette forming succulent to 16" tall w/narrow leaves & pinkish white flwrs. Part sun to deep shade. Irrigate sparingly. Hardy to 25 F 
Sansevieria pearsonii Rhinograss - Robust succulent upright 2-3' long rounded brown-green leaves . Give sun or bright light indoors or out. Very little water. Protect from cold and wet. 
Sansevieria suffruticosa 'Frosty Spears' Frosty Spears Sansevieria - Clumping succulent 18" tall w/pale green lvs, striped w/white and green. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation' White Striped Sansevieria - Clumping succulent 2-3' tall w/dark green lvs, striped w/white. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Black Coral' Black Mother-in-law's Tongue - Clumping succulent 3-4' tall w/very dark green lvs w/gray-green bands. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' Striped Mother-in-law's Tongue - Clumping succulent 3-4' tall w/green leaves margined w/yellow stripes. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii Mein Liebling' Mein Liebling Snake Plant - Clumping succulent 2-3' tall w/dark green lvs, margined w/light green. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Lilian True' Striped Mother-in-law's Tongue - Clumping succulent 3-4' tall w/green leaves margined w/yellow stripes. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Moonshine' Silver Snakeplant - Silver-green lvs w/pale green lines growing to 2 ft. tall. Excellent houseplant for bright position or shaded patio. Little H2O.30-32 F 
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Singer's Silver' Singer's Silver Sansevieria - Clumping succulent 10-12" tall w/green margined lvs centrally striped w/white. Shade/part sun. Excellent in containers. Low H2O. Hardy to 30-32 F. 
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