The Sansevieria Snake Plant Variety Identification & Care Guide will help you identify some of your favorite varieties. If you’re looking for an easy-care houseplant, look no further than the popular Sansevieria. Commonly known as Snake plant, Bowstrings Hemp, or Mother-in-law’s tongue. In fact, it’s called the mother-in-law’s tongue because of its sharp and pointy leaves, and because it lives a really long time. Additionally, Sansevieria is also called Bowstrings Hemp, because the plant’s fibers can actually be used to make bowstrings.
There are about 70 Sansevieria species. Varieties feature thick, rigid, hard leaves in various textures, colors, sizes, and shapes. Most snake plant varieties have stiff, upright, sword-like leaves. Furthermore, they may be banded or edged in gray, silver, or gold. This hardy plant is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions. Indeed, low maintenance and also drought tolerant. Snake plant’s sleek architectural design makes it popular among interior designers and those looking for a striking plant. One of the easiest houseplants to grow and one of the hardest to kill. Additionally, they are also called “oxygen bombs” as they are natural air purifiers. In fact, some believe they can decrease stress and increase productivity. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Sansevieria – Snake Plant varieties below.
Sansevieria Trifasciata is probably one of the most popular sansevieria varieties. Commonly called the Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s tongue. The leaves are dark green in color with light gray-green cross-bands. Growing up to 4 feet tall and 3 inches wide. Learn more care instructions here.
Other names: Mother-in-law’s tongue, Mother-in-law’s Nose, Saint George’s Sword, African Bowstring Hemp, Snake Plant, Sansevieria zeylanica, Dracaena trifasciata Prain
Native to: West Africa, Congo, Nigeria
Buy it: Live Indoor 12in. Snake Plant
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ is one of the most well-known varieties of the snake plant. This Sansevieria Snake Plant variety is variegated with green with dark green repetitive horizontal lines and yellow edges. Learn more care instructions here.
Other names: Snake Plant, Variegated Snake Plant, Striped Mother-in-law’s tongue, Jinn’s tongue, Saint George’s sword, Devil’s tongue, Sansevieria zeylanica var. laurentii, Sansevieria trifasciata Prain
Native to: West Africa
Buy it: Snake Plant Laurentii
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Black Gold'
Its leaves have dark green centers that are surrounded by light yellow to gold edges. Black Gold is one of the best houseplants of all time because it thrives on neglect. Perfect for the forgetful gardener. They tolerate low humidity and are also drought tolerant. Feed with slow release pellets or liquid Fertilizer. I personally love the stiff upright green leaves. Additionally, the striking yellow on the edges of the leaves is a beautiful contrast to the emerald leaves.
Sansevieria Trifasciata 'Futura Robusta'
Futura Robusta snake plant is a popular, easy care houseplant that will form dense stands of vertical leaves, arranged in a rosette, spreading by rhizomes to fill an area. This Sansevieria Snake Plant variety is compact and produces silvery-green leaves, mottled and striped with dark green. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. Robusta may benefit from an occasional pruning to look its best.
Other names: Mother-in-law’s tongue, Sansevieria Laurentii
Native to: West Africa
Futura Superba snake plant looks just like the smaller version of the Black Gold type with similar leaf pattern & colors. However, it has wider leaves and is shorter in height. Alternatively, the Sansevieria Snake Plant variety has a shorter, slender, stiff, slightly twisted sword-like leaf. Additionally, attractive leaves of the slow growing Robusta Sansevieria have a vase-like appearance with leaves that are wide, slightly mottled, overlapping with a dark green and light pale green leaves. Furthermore, this snake plant forms naturally in clumps growing up to 16-30 inches tall.
The Cylindrica is one the most unique varieties of the Snake plant because the stems have a round shape that grow up out of the pot like pencils. Sansevieria Cylindrica has dark green spear-like leaves that are striped. In fact, sometimes they are braided as well. Learn more here.
Common Names: Cylindrical Snake Plant, African Spear, Spear Sansevieria, Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear Sansevieria
Native to: Angola
Buy it: Snake Plant ‘Cylindrica’
The Sansevieria Cylindrica ‘Boncel’ has short, fat leaves that spread out like a fan. When it does bloom, they can grow up to three feet tall. The flowers are pink and white. Learn more here.
Other names: Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear Sansevieria, Snake Plant Starfish
Native to: West Africa
Buy it: Snake Plant Starfish
Watch our Starfish Snake Plant video below!
Certainly the brightest cultivar with thick gold edges and a light green center. A compact variety, Gold Hahnii has light green leaves edged in gold. Its little flowers are pinkish-white and fragrant. This beauty tends to bloom to bloom in late winter or early spring. Learn more care instructions here.
Other names: Golden Bird’s Nest Sansevieria, Bird’s Nest Sansevieria, Golden Hahnii, Gold Hahnii, Golden Dwarf Snake Plant
Native to: Tropical West Africa from Nigeria to the east of the Congo
This Snake Plant does look similar to a Golden Hahnii, but the leaves are dark green in color with light-green stripes. The Trifasciata hahnii is a short-growing plant and typically grows anywhere from 6”-8” tall. Prefers moderately bright or filtered light. It is susceptible to root rot so never allow it to sit in soggy soil. Easy to propagate by division or leaf cuttings. Learn more care instructions here.
Other names: Bird’s Nest Sansevieria, Hahn’s Sansevieria, Green Sansevieria, Hahnii Birdsnest Snake Plant, Dwarf Zeylanica Snake Plant
Native to: Tropical West Africa Region
The Sansevieria Black Star hahnii is a rare compact Snake Plant that is just perfect for table and desk tops. Black Star’s dark gorgeous green leaves with bright yellow variegation grow to be about 8″ tall. In fact, every angle of this plant is absolutely beautiful! Snake plants are one of the varieties recommended by NASA’s air purifying study.
This Sansevieria ‘Black Star’ cluster is gorgeous and such a great size for a house plant. Also known as Bird’s Nest Snake Plant, as it grows in a rosette shape. It will make babies right up against the main “mother” plant. Additionally, leaves are funnel shaped and form an elegant rosette of lush succulent foliage the size of a bird’s nest. Learn more care instructions here.
Other names: Black Star Hahnii, Black Gold Hahnii, Bird’s Nest Snake Plant, Rosette Snake Plant, Sansevieria Golden Hahnii Black,Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Lotus Hahnii’, Sansevieria hahnii Black Gold
Sansevieria trifasciata Black Jack
Dracaena Trifasciata Black Jack, formerly the Sansevieria Black Jack is a newer variety that is part of the “compact sansevieria varieties”. It originated as a naturally-occurring mutation of the Sansevieria variety ‘Black Gold Superba’. In fact, it shows colors very similar to its parent variety ‘Black Gold Superba’. Although, the margins show a brilliant yellow-green color. Additionally, it also shows more vigor and more leaves (7-10 leaves) per rosette than the Black Gold Superba (3-4 leaves per plant).
Like other Sansevieria Varieties, Black Jack needs little water. Moderately drought tolerant and adapts to conditions of light and shade. The new variety ‘Black Jack’ plant has a growth habit that is erect and presents wide leaves supported in a rosette. It has an inverted triangle shape.
Leaves are lanceolate with a soft, waxy texture. Younger leaves show a yellowish green vivid coloration in the interior of the leaf blade. This area also shows irregular streaks or yellowish-green bands. And, the margins on both sides of the leaf are variegated with irregular horizontal bands that alternate between light yellowish-green broad bands and brilliant yellowish-green thin bands. When the leaf is mature, the deep color inside turns yellowish green. However, margins alternate between vivid greenish yellow and light-yellowish green colors.
Sansevieria ‘Bantel’s Sensation is a rare snake plant and is commonly called the White Snake Plant or White Sansevieria. It features distinctive thin, dark green leaves with vertical variegation of cream and white. Learn more here.
Other names: White Sansevieria, Bantel’s Sensation, White Snake Plant, Sansevieria Manolin
Native to: East Africa
The Sansevia Masoniana is nicknamed Whale Fin Snake Plant because of the unique shape of its unusually wide, paddle-like leaves. Though slow-growing, the Whale Fin Sansevieria reaches impressive size compared to other members of the genus. Its leaves are beautifully mottled with patterns of dark and light green, and the leaf margins are often a pink-ish red. Like all Snake Plants, Sansevieria Masoniana is known for its air-purifying abilities, great for beginners, and requires very little maintenance. This is a rare, hard to find plant, and a little pricey.
Buy it: Sansevieria Masoniana
Variegated Sansevieria Masoniana
Sansevieria ‘Masoniana f. Variegata’ has huge, blade-shaped foliage which is highly unusual and instantly recognizable. Its large leaves have amazing light and dark green mottling and spots, and this bright variegated form of the famous Snake Plant also has pale yellow coloration at the leaf margins. Leaves can grow up to 5 feet tall and 10 inches wide. When its flowers bloom, it appears as a stalk of white flower clusters placed on the center of the plant.
Common names: Mason’s Congo, Sansevieria Masoniana variegated
Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
Native: Found in a small region near Eyl in Somalia
Certainly this Moonshine Snake Plant is one of the most spectacular varieties. Silver-green leaves make this beauty a favorite. It will turn a darker green in low light levels and may flower with bright morning sun.
Other names: Silver Sansevieria, Silver Snake Plant, Moonglow Sansevieria, Futura Silver Offset, Silver Queen, Dracaena trifasciata, Moonbeam, Moonlight, and Silver Moon.
Native to: West Africa
Buy it: Snake Plant Moonshine – 4″ Pot
The Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Whitney’ is a dwarf variety that has dark green leaves, edged in silvery-green, and variegated with light green stripes. Popular among interior designers and those who love a striking plant. Allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between watering. Additionally, water less in winter. Do not over-water. Fertilize in Spring through Summer. Propagate by division or leaf cuttings.
Buy it: Sansevieria ‘Whitney’
This rare ‘Night Owl’ Snake Plant is easy to grow. It will thrive in very bright light to almost dark corners of your home or office. Water when the soil is dry. An interesting research program has been done by NASA using a few selected plants (one is Sansevieria) for air purification and to curb “Sick Building Syndrome”.
Snake Plants plants have a rich history of cultivation. In China, it was kept as a treasured houseplant because the Eight Gods bestowed their eight virtues on those who grew them. These virtues include long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, art, poetry, health and strength. Plants were kept near the entrances inside the home so that the eight virtues could pass through in a manner pre-Feng Shui.
Buy it: Night Owl Snake Plant
Sansevieria Black Dragon has rich, glossy, dark green succulent leaves. This hybrid Bird’s Nest form is beautifully small and compact and is unusual in that the leaves are unvariegated. A real living sculpture for a shelf or small table.
Sansevieria readily adapts to different light levels. The deep green-black coloring of Black Dragon will intensify in shade and become a vibrant, lustrous green with more light. Learn more here.
Buy it: Sansevieria ‘Black Dragon’
We love the wide, exotic foliage of the Sansevieria Jaboa, a variety of the plant most commonly known as Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue. It’s quite unusual, and has a strikingly exotic appearance. This plant tolerates low light but grows best in bright, indirect light. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering. A great, low-maintenance, beginner’s plant.
Buy it: Sansevieria ‘Jaboa’
If you’re looking for a bulletproof houseplant with modern style, you can’t do much better than the Snake Plant. It has been a favorite of interior designers for years because of how adaptable it is to a wide range of growing conditions. The stiff vertical leaves with variegated patterns make a dramatic and modern statement in any room. Black Coral has unique silver bands horizontally across rich, dark green leaves. Learn more here.
Buy it: Sansevieria ‘Black Coral’
The Sansevieria fischeri is showy and quite distinctive. Additionally, the capitate inflorescence of this native of Kenya appears at ground level. Fabulous short, thickly-swollen, rigidly prostrate leaves of gray to brown-green with paler flecking; tiny concave ridge on leaf surface disappears with age as new nodes (eventually, as the clump matures) send out a “singular” single leaf. Gorgeous green banding and reddish papery margins.
Common Names: Sansevieria ‘Leopard Bat’, Bat Snake Plant, Boophone fischeri, Sansevieria singularis, Sansevieria fischeri
Native to: Kenya
Buy it: Sansevieria fischeri singularis
One of my newest additions to my Snake Plant Collection. The Fernwood is a hybrid variety of Sansevieria with thin deep green stalk and sometimes called the Sansevieria Fernwood Punk. Long thin leaves and the texture make this a favorite. This plant will not disappoint. I picked up my Fernwood Snake Plant at The Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. Click here to see my YouTube video while plant shopping there.
Buy it: Fernwood Mikado Snake Plant
The Sansevieria Ehrenbergii is often called “Blue Sansevieria”, but isn’t really blue at all. Green leaves are long and blade-like and the edges are are a soft copper color. Leaves are striking and grow in the opposite direction of one another.
Other names: Blue Sansevieria, Sword Sansevieria, Seleb Sansevieria, East African Wild Sisal, Samurai Dwarf, and Somaliland Bowstring Hemp.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister’
The Twisted Sister is a sister plant of the Dwarf Sansevieria. Its leaves are bright gold and green and color. Twists emerge from the base and it could grow up to 15 inches tall.
Other names: Twisted Sister Snake Plant, Gold Twist Sansevieria
Native to: East to Congo
This Sansevieria Patens is a rosette-forming snake plant with branching rhizomes that could grow up to 1 inch in diameter. The leaves can grow up to 3 feet tall. Leaves are dark green with blackish green lines. It can bear flowers that grow in clusters and are grey-white in color.
Other names: Sister Snake Plant, Patens Sansevieria, Snake Plant jocad
Native to: British East Africa or Kenya
Buy it: Sansevieria Patens
The Sansevieria kirkii has smooth, mid to dark green succulent leaves with brown, wavy edges. Beautifully patterned leaves are narrow and dagger shaped. Tough and rugged in appearance, this rare snake plant can grow up to 6 feet tall, making them ideal architectural plants.
Kirkii is closely related to Sansevieria trifasciata and has all the same virtues. Sansevieria readily adapt to different light levels, are air-purifying and very hard to kill. When placed indoors, this could serve as an air-purifying plant. Blooms are greenish-white in color.
Other names: Star Sansevieria, Bowstring Hemp, Bow-string Hemp, Pangane Sansevieria, Pangane Hemp, Sansevieria kirkii Baker, Sansevieria Kirkii ‘Silver Blue’
Buy it: Sansevieria Kirkii
Sansevieria Parva ‘Kenya Hyacinth’
The Kenya Hyacinth is a rosette-forming plant with leaves that could grow up to 16 inches tall. Rosettes typically have 6 to 12 green leaves with dark lines or patterns. Its little flowers are pinkish-white and fragrant. Flowers tend to bloom in late winter or early spring.
Common names: Kenya Hyacinth Snake Plant, Sansevieria bequaertii, Sansevieria dooneri
Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria Species: parva
Native: Eastern Africa or Burundi, Kenya
The Sansevieria Starlight is a variety of snake plant known for its succulent qualities and sturdy, sword-shaped leaves. This particular variety has a soft yellow outline with a light-green pattern towards the middle of each leaf.
This evergreen plant native to tropical West Africa is aesthetically pleasing and requires little to no maintenance. This versatile plant tolerates low light and can tolerate extensive drought periods. Being a natural air purifier that makes the air cleaner and healthier to breathe, it is a great addition to any space.
Sansevieria Hahnii – Bird’s Nest Snake Plant
Silver Hahnii Sansevieria – Bird’s Nest Snake Plant
Sansevieria Black Star Hahnii – Bird’s Nest
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