Sansevieria suffruticosa

11 Mar

Sansevieria suffruticosa (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Sansevieria suffruticosa (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Bright indirect light

Flowering period:

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 30cm

Hardiness: 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Asparagaceae

Sansevieria suffruticosa is an evergreen succulent perennial with a clump forming habit. Its dark green leaves have cylindrical grey/ green bands around their length, are cylindrical in cross section, up to 60cm long and 2cm across. Its white flowers appear on an erect flower stalk as panicles, these emerge from the base of the plant and are up to 40cm long. Its roots contain rhizomes which aids their drought tolerance, they also produce stolons which aids their slow spread.

Sansevieria suffruticosa, commonly known as Snake Plant, is native to East Africa. In its native habitat it grows in densely populated thickets on dry slopes.

The etymological root of the binomial name Sansevieria is named after Prince Raimond de Sansgrio of Sanseviero (1710–1771). Suffruticosa is derived from the Latin meaning ‘barely woody’.

The landscape architect may find Sansevieria suffruticosa useful as an attractive specimen houseplant. As this plant is drought tollerant once established, it is suitable for xeriscaping schemes.

Sansevieria suffruticosa Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Sansevieria suffruticosa Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Sansevieria suffruticosa flowers are attractive to pollinating birds.

Sansevieria suffruticosa prefers moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

When maintaining Sansevieria suffruticosa as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 16ºc to 24ºc, although it will tolerate a temperature as low as 0ºc.

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