Sansevierias: an introduction

Walker, Colin (2023). Sansevierias: an introduction. Cactus and Succulent Journal of NSW, 33(3 & 4) pp. 33–43.


Sansevieria is a genus with a widespread distribution throughout Africa and Arabia and eastwards to Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar. Many have thick underground rhizomes whilst others produce stolons above the ground. Leaves vary from flat and barely succulent to thick and very succulent, circular in cross-section. Flowers are produced in unbranched tall spikes, large branching inflorescences or dense, crowded (capitate) heads. The flowers are always nocturnal, each lasting a single night but since large numbers are produced a plant can be in flower over the course of a week or more. Most produce intense hyacinth-like scents although a few appear to be scentless. Typically flowers are most fragrant late in the evening with scent fading by the following morning. The following species are discussed and illustrated: Sansevieria hargeisana, S. subspicata, S. hallii, S. ehrenbergii, S. trifasciata 'Hahnii', S. francisii and S. pinguicula.

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