Sansevieria zeylanica (L.) Willd.
Ceylon Bowstring Hemp, Devil's Tongue, Snake Plant, Zeylanica Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law's Tongue
Aloe Hyacinthoides var. zeylanica, Sansevieria roxburghiana, Dracaena roxburghiana
Sansevieria zeylanica is a succulent plant with sword-shaped dark green leaves with large white spots. The leaves grow up to 2.5 feet (75 cm) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Flowers are pale green and appear on an up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall flowering stem.
The specific epithet "zeylanica" means "of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)."
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 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 the water that remains in the saucer. Never let the soil become soggy, and never let the pot stand in water. Water sparingly throughout the winter. Like most succulent plants storing 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 °F (10 °C).
Feed the plant once every three weeks throughout the summer. Use a general-purpose fertilizer for houseplants diluted to one-half of the strength suggested on the container. Sansevieria is a light feeder, and too much fertilizer makes the leaves fall over.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Sansevieria.
This species is native to the drier areas of Sri Lanka.
- Back to genus Sansevieria
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.