32 Types of Snake Plant: Sansevieria Varieties Identification

The snake plant seemed almost forgotten for a while before it was rediscovered as an ornamental plant a few years ago. What makes it so special is not least its somewhat bizarre appearance and the special drawing of the leaves. The easy care of the succulents is also impressive. There are over 70 different species of the plant. We have compiled the most interesting ones in the list below for Sansevieria varieties identification.

sansevieria varieties identification

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Sansevieria bacularis

This Sansevieria has leaves up to 170 cm long. They are dark green in color with light transverse bands. The leaf tips are soft. The white flowers appear in spring and have a purple stripe through them.

  • Warm and bright location
  • Move outside in summer
  • Water sparingly
  • Tolerates short dry periods
  • Not hardy
  • Bring in before the first frosts

Sansevieria burmanica

The home of the plants is in India. Up to 13 upright, linear-lanceolate leaves stand together in a rosette. They reach a length between 45 and 75 centimeters and are colored grass green with light bands. There are up to three vertical stripes on the smooth top of the leaf. The leaf margin is green. It can turn white with age. Greenish-white, panicle-like inflorescences with a length of 60 to 75 centimeters appear.

  • Sunny to partially shaded location
  • Temperature around 20°C and not below 14°C
  • Water moderately
  • Reduce watering in winter
  • 14-day fertilization in summer
  • Substrate: potting soil with a high proportion of sand

Sansevieria concinna

This Sansevieria species comes from South Africa. The upright, lanceolate leaves grow from a thick rhizome and stand together in a rosette. They reach a length between 15 and 25 centimeters and are colored green with pale green transverse bands. The leaf surface is smooth and the edge is not hardened. Spike-shaped, white inflorescences appear. They can be between 15 and 30 centimeters long.

  • Plant in a shady location
  • Temperature all year round at 20°C
  • Water moderately
  • Does not tolerate waterlogging
  • Let the soil dry out a little between waterings
  • Fertilize from spring to autumn
  • Substrate: slightly sandy

Sansevieria cylindrica

This Sansevieria species originally comes from South Africa. It is not very common. The columnar, upright leaves can be up to a meter long and 2 to 3 centimeters thick. They are green to grayish in color. Young plants often have dark green transverse bands. The leaves often become a little furrowed with age. There are various cultivated forms of this sansevieria such as “Spaghetti”, “Skyline” and “Patula”.

  • Requires lots of light
  • Loves a sunny location
  • Place outdoors in summer
  • Water evenly
  • Tolerates short dry periods
  • At least 60% humidity
  • Temperature around 20°C
  • Fertilize from spring to autumn with cactus fertilizer or liquid fertilizer for succulents

Sansevieria francisii

This Sansevieria comes originally from Kenya and grows trunk-shaped with upturned leaves. The height is 30 centimeters. These are marbled from dark to light green and taper to a point. The plants form runners with various offsets. These can be used to propagate cuttings.

  • Loves a sunny to partially shaded location
  • Also tolerates blazing sun
  • Water sparingly
  • Let the soil dry out beforehand
  • Does not tolerate waterlogging
  • Fertilize from spring to autumn
  • Temperature all year round at 20°C, and not below 15°C
  • Substrate: cactus soil or mixture of potting soil, fine sand, clay granules
  • Propagation: leaf cuttings, runners

Sansevieria hyacinthoides

The “African bowstring hemp” comes from Africa, as the name suggests. There it grows in dense, small groups in the shade of the trees. The leaves can reach a length of 120 centimeters. They are medium green in color with dark green transverse bands, very broad and on short stems. They stand together loosely in a broad rosette. The plant forms long rhizomes.

  • Sunny to shady location
  • At least 4 hours of sun a day
  • Temperature 20 to 30°C
  • Water moderately
  • Permeable substrate

Sansevieria liberica

This Sansevieria species originally comes from the Central African Republic and West Africa. Up to six belt-shaped to lanceolate, leather-like leaves stand together on one shoot. They are almost upright. They can be 45 to 110 centimeters long and are dark green in color with pale green transverse bands. The end of the leaf is slightly pointed and colored white with age. The slightly cartilaginous leaf margin is slightly reddish brown. White flowers are loosely arranged in panicles. The flower stem can be between 60 and 80 centimeters high.

  • Prefers shady locations
  • Water sparingly
  • Does not tolerate waterlogging
  • Let the soil dry between waterings
  • Temperature 20 to 30°C
  • Substrate: well-drained, dry, somewhat granular

Sansevieria longiflora

Africa is also its home. There this Sansevieria grows primarily in Angola, Namibia and the Congo. The dark green leaves are lightly spotted or irregularly banded with a smooth leaf surface. They reach a length of 150 centimeters and are between 3 and 9 centimeters wide. At the tip of the leaf there is a 3 to 6 millimeter long brown spine. The leaf margin is hardened and colored red-brown to yellowish. White panicle-like flowers appear.

  • Grow in sunny to shady location
  • Water moderately
  • Does not tolerate waterlogging
  • Instead, allow to dry out a bit
  • Temperature 20 to 30°C
  • Substrate: sandy and well drained

Sansevieria parva

This Sansevieria species mainly grows in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The dark green leaves with dark or lighter transverse bands are linear to lanceolate. White to pink flowers appear. The plants are quite easy to care for. They are very suitable for beginners.

  • Give lots of light
  • Loves a sunny location
  • Also tolerates partial shade
  • Temperatures 20 to 30°C
  • Substrate: somewhat granular and permeable
  • Water sparingly

Sansevieria raffillii

sansevieria varieties identification

This Sansevieria species is native to Kenya and Somalia. Up to five centimeters thick rhizomes grow upright, lanceolate leaves with a length of up to 150 centimeters and a smooth leaf surface. Yellowish-green spots or irregular transverse bands are present on the green leaf base. The markings may fade on older plants. The leaf margin is hardened and colored reddish-brown. The inflorescences are panicle-shaped and greenish-white in color. They reach a length of 90 and 120 centimeters.

  • Grow in a shady location
  • Water sparingly
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • Temperature 20 to 25°C
  • Substrate: loose, well drained, sandy

Sansevieria senegambica

Its home is in West Africa. Up to four leaves are loosely arranged in a rosette. They grow upright, taper to a point and bend back slightly. The leaf surface is dark green in color with barely visible transverse bands. The underside is brighter, but the transverse bands are clearly visible. The leaf length is 40 to 70 centimeters. The leaf margin is green. The white flowers stand together in panicles. They glow purple in the sun. The flower stems are 30 to 50 centimeters long.

  • Prefers a shady location
  • Water moderately
  • Does not tolerate waterlogging
  • Temperature 20°C
  • Substrate: permeable and loose

Sansevieria subspicata

This Sansevieria variety originally comes from Mozambique. The lanceolate leaves grow upright and are slightly bent back. They have a length of 20 to 60 centimeters, taper to a point and are green to slightly bluish in color. The leaf margin is green and discolored white with age. The greenish-white flowers stand together in panicles. The inflorescences are 30 to 40 centimeters high.

  • Plant in a sunny to partially shaded location
  • Water sparingly
  • Does not tolerate waterlogging
  • Temperature 20 to 25°C
  • Substrate: slightly sandy, loose and permeable to water

Sansevieria trifasciata

This is probably the best-known Sansevieria species. It comes from tropical West Africa. In this country it is also known as the snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue. Linear-lanceolate leaves grow from creeping rhizomes. They reach lengths of 40 to 60 centimeters and are grass green with white to light green transverse bands. The cultivar “Laurentii” with golden yellow longitudinal stripes along the leaf margins is very popular. There are various cultivated forms of this species such as the “Hahnii” with brightly colored, rosette-shaped, funnel-shaped leaves or “Golden Flame” with golden yellow stripes. This Sansevieria grows particularly well in pots that are too narrow.

  • Grow in a sunny to partially shaded location
  • Avoid blazing sun
  • Temperature 20°C, not below 14°C
  • Keep moderately moist
  • Tolerates drought for a short time
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • Substrate: potting soil with 50% loamy and sandy additives
  • Fertilize from spring to autumn with cactus fertilizer or liquid fertilizer for succulents
  • Propagation: seeds, leaf cuttings, offsets

Sansevieria zeylanica

sansevieria varieties identification
“File:Sansevieria zeylanica” by David J. Stang is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

This Sansevieria species is native to Sri Lanka. There the Sansevieria grows in sandy and rocky dry areas. They have an upright habit and can reach a height of 60 to 70 centimeters. The green-white leaves are somewhat leathery. Green, slightly wavy lines run through the leaf surface. The plants form a flat root system. Repotting is only necessary if the roots threaten to burst the pot. Then the plant can also be divided.

  • Plant in a sunny to partially shaded location
  • Water sparingly
  • Soil should be completely dry between waterings
  • Fertilize once a month with cactus fertilizer or liquid fertilizer for succulents

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