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Viper's bowstring hemp

Botanical Name:

Sansevieria trifasciata

Common Name:

Viper's bowstring hemp,Snake Plant,Saint George's Sword,Sansevieria,Mother-in-Law's Tongue


It is an evergreen perennial plant forming dense stands, spreading by way of its creeping rhizome, which is sometimes above ground, sometimes underground. Its stiff leaves grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and usually range from 70–90 centimetres (28–35 in) long and 5–6 centimetres (2.0–2.4 in) wide, though it can reach heights above 2 m (6 ft) in optimal conditions.The specific epithet trifasciata means "three bundles".The plant exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide using the crassulacean acid metabolism process, which is only present in a small number of plant species. It allows them to withstand drought. The microscopic pores on the plant's leaves, called the stomata and used to exchange gases, are only opened at night to prevent water from escaping via evaporation in the hot sun. As a result, stored oxygen is released at the opening of the stomata at night, unlike most plants which continuously exchange gases during the day.It is a weed in some parts of northern Australia.

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Bloom Time

Late spring or early summer, Other: Can bloom throughout the year in tropics.

Plant Type




How to Grow


Dry Mesic


Partial or Dappled Shade, Partial Shade to Full Shade

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