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Sansevieria zeylanica – Ceylon Bowstring Hemp


Scientific Name

Sansevieria zeylanica (L.) Willd.

Common Names

Ceylon Bowstring Hemp, Devil’s Tongue, Snake Plant, Zeylanica Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue


Aloe hyacinthoides var. zeylanica (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae 
Genus: Sansevieria


Sansevieria zeylanica is a hardy plant with long sword-shaped leaves, dark green with large white spots, up to 2.5 feet (75 cm) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. The flowers are pale green and the flowering stem grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall.

Sansevieria zeylanica - Ceylon Bowstring Hemp

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How to Grow and Care

Place Sansevierias in moderately bright or filtered light. Good locations include a spot in front of a north-facing window or in front of a bright, sunny window covered by a sheer curtain. Although the plant tolerates low light, bright light brings out the colors in the leaves. However, intense light may cause the edges of the leaves to turn yellow. Allow the soil to dry completely before watering, and then water deeply until water drips through the drainage hole. Allow the pot to drain and then discard water that remains in the saucer. Never allow the soil to become soggy and never let the pot stand in water. Water sparingly throughout the winter.

Like most succulent plants that store water in their leaves, Sansevieria rots quickly in excessively wet soil. Place Sansevieria in average room temperatures. Protect the plant from drafts and cold temperatures as it is damaged at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius)… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Sansevieria.


Native to the drier areas of Sri Lanka.


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