“Sansevieria” Genus

sansevieria genus

Snake plants are native to tropical West Africa and essential to African culture. Nigerians believe that the plant provides spiritual protection. They use it in a ritual to remove the evil eye. A nasty stare casts a curse on its victims. This succulent is also associated with several African gods, including the god of war.

Like the jade plant, the Chinese also think this plant brings good luck. They believe the gods will bestow the eight virtues, including long life and prosperity, onto their caretakers. Even if this succulent didn’t bring us good luck, we’d keep it because it’s so pretty!

But you may be wondering, what exactly is a snake plant, and what is a sansevieria? Is Sansevieria a succulent? Is a snake plant a succulent? Let’s take a look further to dissect those pondering questions.

Snake plants are a type of Sansevieria, a genus of seventy flowering plants. These plants are grouped because they all have shared characteristics like narrow, upright leaves and short, thick roots.

Because the snake plant belongs to the genus Sansevieria, its full scientific name is Sansevieria Trifasciata. The second word in its name, Trifasciata, comes from Latin. It means “marked with three bands.” Several snake plant varieties are diversified, which is a fancy way of saying their leaves have different colored streaks. These colorful markings are why snake plants got the name Trifasciata.

In addition to its scientific name, the snake plant has a few nicknames. It’s often called mother-in-law’s tongue because of its sharp, pointed leaves. If you ever buy this succulent for your mother-in-law, don’t tell her what it’s called!

Snake plants are also known as viper’s bowstring hemp because they have strong fibers that were once used to make bowstrings.

Sansevieria Varieties On Succulent City

Sansevieria Masoniana Image
The Sansevieria Mason’s Congo ‘Sansevieria Masoniana’
 Sansevieria Fernwood Image
The Fernwood Snake Plant ‘Sansevieria Fernwood’
Sansevieria 'Black Coral' Image
Sansevieria ‘Black Coral’
Sansevieria Sayuri Image
The Sayuri Snake Plant ‘Sansevieria Sayuri’
Sansevieria 'Whitney' Image
Sansevieria ‘Whitney’
Sansevieria Bacularis Image
The Snake Plant ‘Sansevieria Bacularis’
Sansevieria Kirkii Image
Sansevieria Kirkii (Star Sansevieria)
Sansevieria Cleopatra Image
Sansevieria Cleopatra
Sansevieria Pinguicula Image
Sansevieria Pinguicula (Walking Sansevieria)
Sansevieria Parva Image
Sansevieria Parva
Sansevieria Metallica Image
Sansevieria Metallica
Sansevieria Gracilis Image
Sansevieria Gracilis

Snake Plants Sansevieria FAQs

1. Are snake plants poisonous to cats?

Snake plants are indeed poisonous to cats. These plants carry saponins, chemicals that, when ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea in cats.

2. Are snake plants poisonous to dogs?

Yes, snake plants have the same effect on dogs as cats, with nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

3. Can snake plants live outside?

Absolutely! Snake plants love the outdoors. More specifically, they appreciate and thrive off being in the sunlight – and even the shade! They make a perfect addition to any outdoor garden or even an excellent viewpoint on the porch.

4. Can you trim a snake plant?

Trimming, pruning, and/or propagating your snake plant is simple and highly recommended at times. It is best to trim your snake plant if/when it starts having discoloration, decaying spots, damaged areas, etc.

5. What are the benefits of a snake plant?

Snake plants are an excellent investment for many reasons. For example, they’re anti-allergies, have been known to help boost one’s mental health, bring a beautiful scene of life to any surrounding areas, are easy to care for, and so much more!

6. Do snake plants attract bugs?

While most succulents are more prone to attracting bugs and other pests, snake plants are quite the opposite. Snake plants rarely experience these issues. However, the probability of such infestations increases if the plant is poorly cared for.

7. Do snake plants bloom?

They do indeed; however, it isn’t widespread as it only happens with certain snake plant varieties. For those capable of blooming, you will soon notice some white flowers sprouting about.

8. Do snake plants need drainage holes?

No, snake plants do not necessarily need drainage holes.

9. How fast do snake plants grow?

Snake plants are typically slower-growing. However, it all depends on the variety of the plant. A standard snake plant will usually grow about four-twelve inches a year.

10. How tall do snake plants get?

A fully-grown and healthy snake plant can reach a height of anywhere from one foot to up to four feet tall.

We have compacted 27+ commonly-asked questions about succulent in 1 single article. You can visit the page here and feel free to contribute any question that you have 🙂 Happy planting!

Did you know?

Final Words

Enjoyed learning about Snake Plants? If so, you’ll want the ebook about The Right Way to Propagating Succulents Successfully. This ebook will give you more detailed answers to help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works best to grow your succulents.


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

Contact me: richard.succulentcity@gmail.com

43 thoughts on ““Sansevieria” Genus

  1. My snake plant just bloomed April 9-13. Fragrant tubular white flowers cover a hardy stem that grew over a couple of weeks. The lovely smelling fragrance is strong at night. There are sticky drops of nectar on each flower. I’ve had others that bloom. It sits in a sunny eastern window all year round.

    1. I can’t find more info about the blooms, I have had snake plants for many years and never had one to bloom until now.

  2. The leaves of snake plant are used to cure shingles and the juice extracted from the snake leaves is dropped into the ear as a treatment for an earache, pharyngitis (a sore throat)and hoarseness (abnormal voice change).

  3. Had a few in my yard in Florida, that spread and spread over about 8 years, some grew 6 feet tall, and then all at once they started to dry up and die. I noticed it starts with brown patches on a leaf. Is it a blight?

  4. When I was 5 or 6, I went to a garden store with my Mom and she bought me my own short variety Sansiveria plant. I had it for years and it produced many babies. I attribute that gift as the beginning of a lifetime of loving plants. I am now 71!

  5. I have a snake plant growing under another bush, no one planted it it just appeared one day, any answers how it could have gotten there?

  6. I have a type of Bromeliad that I couldn’t isolate it to any particular kind, finally after much searching the internet and even using a picture app. (that didn’t help) I saw a picture of a wide variety of snake plants, and it looked as if it may be among this family of plants. To the best of my knowledge, it would be a Jade as it has solid, thick, green leaves. How do I know for sure. It propagates well on it’s own and everyone I give it to asks me, “what kind of plant is it?” And I just say, “one that I don’t think that anyone can kill.” It has survived sitting in water for days, not being watered for weeks, freezing cold, excessive heat, being moved 1200 miles, jostled around, nothing has caused it lasting harm. Is this customary of this type of plant? Thank you, and for now I am just saying, “it’s a snake plant.” I hope to be not too far off base.

  7. Great info! I would add that it’s incredibly easy to propagate these by cutting a leaf and putting a few in a glass jar by the kitchen window. Change the water 2x/week and you’ll see roots in about a month and pups grow soon after. Fun project for the kids. Can be repotted into soil, just keep very damp and ease off the water gradually.

  8. My mother in law bought me a snake plant when she went to a small nursery unfortunately it was the only one and it’s in bad shape it has dry stringy holes what is that and how do I fix it also I noticed it have a new little plant growing next to it and it looks like another one is coming out how do I report those?

  9. I already read a lot about snake plants but still learned more about sansevieria a lot more! Thanks so much & more power.

  10. I propagate my snake plants by cutting a leaf off and putting the cutting in enough water to just touch the bottom of the cutting. When it roots I transfer the cutting into a pot of dirt and secure it with a small stake. I have done this several times and have had success. I love my plants and have quite a few of them. Use the same process with my African violets. Ritchey

  11. Just repotted my little snake plant “Francine” and she’s got a shoot coming off of her. So I’ll have to research more about that. Glad she’s liking her new home. Thank you for the article.

  12. I just read your article about the snake plant and it’s really interesting. I’m not a fan of succulents but this is actually my favorite plant in the whole world! It grows so tall and has such beautiful leaves. I love how they come in different colors too.
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge on this awesome plant, I learned a lot from reading your post today!

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