19 Types of Snake Plant Varieties with Names and Pictures


Snake Plants are evergreen, flowering plants which were originally placed in the Sanseviera Genus but have recently been reclassified into the Dracaena Genus.

There are about 70 species of Snake Plants, largely native to Africa, Madagascar and southern Asia and go by the common names, Mother-in-law's Tongue, Devil's Tongue, Jinn's Tongue, Bow String Hemp, Snake Plant and Snake Tongue.

The leaves in Snake Plant species are typically arranged in a rosette around the growing point but in some species they are arranged in two-ranks.

Snake Plants Varieties Collage

Based on their leaves, Snake Plants can be categorised as hard-leaved or soft-leaved. Hard-leaved species have their origin in the arid climates while the soft-leaved species are native to the tropical and subtropical regions.

The hard-leaved species have several survival adaptations for the dry regions which include thick, succulent leaves for water storage and thick leaf cuticles to reduce loss of moisture.

The leaves in the hard-leaved species may also be cylindrical to reduce surface area, thus reduce water loss, and are usually shorter than those of the soft-leaved tropical species.

The flowers in Snake Plants are usually greenish-white but they can also be rose, lilac-red or brownish and are produced on a simple or branched raceme. They mature into a red or orange berry.

Snake Plants are popular plants on account of their ease of care and ability to clean indoor air as they produce oxygen even at night.

This is because they carry out Crassulacean Acidic Metabolism (CAM) in which they harvest Carbon dioxide at night and use it during the day to make their food.

As they make their food, they store the oxygen they produce in the process and release it at night. This is an adaptation of these plants to their drought-prone climate which enables then survive the harsh climate.

Sanseviera are low maintenace plants which require bright light with some direct sunlight, average warmth and moderately moist, cactus and succulents potting mix coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Unfortunately, Snake Plants are toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. They contain saponins which if ingested may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep these plants away from children and pets.

Are you looking to add Snake Plants to your collection? They are available online at Etsy and at Amazon.

19 Different Types of Snake Plants You Can Grow in Your Home

Our choice of the best 19 Snake Plant Varieties include Dracaena trifasciata, Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii', Dracaena trifasciata 'Hahnii', Dracaena trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii', Dracaena trifasciata 'Moonshine', Dracaena angolensis 'Boncel' among others.

1. Dracaena trifasciata

Dracaena trifasciata

Dracaena trifasciata bears stiff, dark-green leaves with light gray-green cross-banding which grow vertically from a rosette and spreads by means of rhizomes.

The mature leaves are about 3-4 ft long and about 2.5 in. wide. Dracaena trifasciata can reach a height 6 ft in optimal conditions. It is native to to tropical West Africa from Nigeria east to Congo.

Dracaena trifasciata commonly called 'Mother-in-law's Tongue', 'Saint George's Sword' or 'Viper's Bowstring Hemp' is one of the commonest Snake Plants due to its ability to withstand harsh growing conditions.

2. Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii'

Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii', Variegated Snake Plant

Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii' commonly called Variegated Snake Plant, Goldband Sansevieria or Variegated Mother-in-law's Tongue is a cultivar of Dracaena trifasciata whose leaves are edged in cream-yellow margins.

Variegated Snake Plant is best propagated by division of the mother plant as propagation by cuttings does not breed true to type; the variegation is lost and it reverts to the all-green form.

3. Dracaena trifasciata 'Hahnii'

Dracaena trifasciata 'Hahnii', Bird’s Nest Snake Plant

Dracaena trifasciata 'Hahnii' commonly called Bird’s Nest Snake Plant or Dwarf Snake Plant is a low-growing (6-8 in. tall), rosette-like species which is ideal for the small spaces like a windowsill.

The leaves are dark-green with light gray-green cross-banding, spirally arranged, curved upwards along the edges and turning flat and recurving backwards as they mature.

4. Dracaena trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii'

Dracaena trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii', Golden Bird’s Nest Snake Plant

Dracaena trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii' commonly called Golden Bird’s Nest Snake Plant is a variety of Dracaena trifasciata 'Hahnii' with dark-green, glossy leaves edged with broad, creamy-yellow margins.

Golden Bird’s Nest Snake Plant is a compact species which grows to aheight of about 6-8 in. making it perfect for the limited spaces like a table-top, desk, shelf, windowsill and others.

5. Dracaena angolensis

Dracaena angolensis, Sansevieria cylindrica, African Spear

Dracaena angolensis formerly Sansevieria cylindrica and commonly called Cylindrical Snake Plant, African Spear, Spear Sansevieria or Saint Bárbara Sword is native to Angola, Africa.

Cylindrical Snake Plant bears striped, elongated, smooth, greenish-gray subcylindrical leaves in a fan-shaped rosette of stiff leaves.

The subcylindrical leaves are caused by a failure to express genes which cause the cylindrical bud to differentiate dorsoventrally. The flowers are greenish-white, tubular and tinged with pink.

6. Dracaena angolensis 'Boncel'

Dracaena angolensis 'Boncel', Starfish Snake Plant

Dracaena angolensis 'Boncel' commonly called Starfish Snake Plant or Spear Orchid bears short, fat, round, light-green leaves with concentric circles down the entire length that grow in a fan-shape.

Starfish Snake Plant is a compact species which grows to a height of about 8 in. and spreads by means of rhizomes to form a mat making ideal for a groundcover and for small spaces.

7. Dracaena masoniana

Dracaena masoniana, Whale Fin Snake Plant

Dracaena masoniana commonly called 'Whale Fin Snake Plant' or 'Shark's Fin Snake Plant' and initially called 'Mason Congo' is native to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Whale Fin Snake Plant bears large, striking, dark-green leaves with lighter-green cross-banding along the leaf length.

8. Dracaena masoniana 'Variegata'

Dracaena masoniana 'Variegata', Variegated Whale Fin Snake Plant

Dracaena masoniana 'Variegata' commonly called 'Variegated Whale Fin Snake Plant' or 'Variegated Shark's Fin Snake Plant' is a cultivar of Dracaena masoniana whose leaves are edged with cream-yellow margins.

9. Dracaena zeylanica

Dracaena zeylanica, Ceylon Bowstring Hemp

Dracaena zeylanica commonly called Ceylon Bowstring Hemp bears olive-green leaves with pale green wavy-like horizontal stripes.

Ceylon Bowstring Hemp looks like Dracaena trifasciata but Ceylon Bowstring Hemp has slightly more erect but shorter leaves and grows to a height of 2-3 ft and about 1 ft wide.

10. Dracaena trifasciata 'Moonshine'

Dracaena trifasciata 'Moonshine', Moonshine Snake Plant

Dracaena trifasciata 'Moonshine' commonly called Moonshine Snake Plant or Moonlight Snake Plant bears broad, succulent, pale, silvery-green, spear-shaped leaves with dark green margins.

Moonshine Snake Plant grows to a height of 2 ft and requires bright indirect light as in low light conditions, the leaves may turn a darker green.

The flowers in Moonlight Snake Plant are white, inconspicuous, and slightly scented but the plant may not bloom when grown indoors.

11. Dracaena hanningtonii 'Samurai Dwarf'

Dracaena hanningtonii 'Samurai Dwarf', Dracaena ehrenbergii ‘Samurai Dwarf’

Dracaena hanningtonii 'Samurai Dwarf' or Dracaena ehrenbergii ‘Samurai Dwarf’ is a slow growing succulent plant which bears leaves in two opposite rows to form a fan-shape.

Dracaena ehrenbergii ‘Samurai Dwarf’ is a low-growing plant which grows to a height of about 1/2 ft only. The leaves are dark-green, edged in brownish-red and grooved on the inner side.

12. Dracaena eilensis

Dracaena eilensis, Sanseviera eilensis

Dracaena eilensis formerly Sanseviera eilensis is a succulent plant with rough, cylindrical, downward curving leaves which grow from the underground rhizome.

The leaves are light bluish-green with bands of white and are marked by green longitudinal lines which mark the areas at which the leaf will fold in on itself during drought or swell on being watered.

The leaves in young plants have a deep channel, which runs the full length of the leaf and has reddish-brown margins edged with a papery brown cuticle.

As the plant ages, the edges of the new leaves roll together to form a smooth cylindrical leaf with a dried papery cuticle at the tip and base of the leaf.

13. Dracaena trifasciata 'Bentel's Sensation

Dracaena trifasciata 'Bentel's Sensation

Dracaena trifasciata 'Bentel's Sensation' features dark, grey-green, upright leaves with contrasting creamy white stripes.

Bentel's Sensation Snake Plant grows slowly to form colonies about 2 ft wide. The leaves can grow to a height of 3 ft tall and about 1 in. wide.

The flowers in Bentel's Sensation Snake Plant are creamy white, tubular and slightly fragrant and are held on a tall, upright inflorescence.

14. Dracaena ballyi

Dracaena ballyi

Dracaena ballyi grows in small rosettes with leaves that have bands of color and sharp tips and have grooves from the base to around 3/4 of the length.

This native of Eastern Africa in Kenya and Tanzania bears white, bottle-shaped flower spikes in clusters.

Dracaena ballyi is a dwarf snake plant which grows to a height of about 6 in. and it gets its species name from the Swiss botanist Dr. Peter Bally.

15. Sanseviera trifasciata 'Black Dragon'

Sanseviera trifasciata 'Black Dragon'

Sanseviera trifasciata 'Black Dragon' also called Sanseviera trifasciata ‘Future Midnight’ is a spectacular, rare variety with thick, dark green leaves which grow in a rosette.

Black Dragon is a product of cuttings propagated from Sanseviera trifasciata 'Sheri' which is a variegated plant but the cuttings do not breed true to type as the variegation is often lost.

16. Sanseviera Cleopatra

Sanseviera Cleopatra, Cleopatra Snake Plant

Sanseviera Cleopatra or Cleopatra Snake Plant is a stemless, perennial, succulent plant with thick, silvery blue-green, striped leaves whose leaf margin is wavy and reddish brown.

Cleopatra Snake Plant is a charming, low-growing plant whose leaves are flattened and growing in a rosette which makes it perfect for a table-top, desk-top and other small spaces.

17. Sanseviera trifasciata 'Whitney'

Sanseviera trifasciata Whitney, Silver Flame Snake Plant

Sanseviera trifasciata 'Whitney' commonly called Silver Flame Snake Plant bears silvery-green, stiff, upright leaves which are marked by rich, dark green horizontal stripes along the edges.

Silver Flame Snake Plant is a striking compact plant which can grow to a height of 1.5-2 ft making it ideal for limited spaces in the home.

18. Dracaena bacularis 'Mikado'

Dracaena bacularis 'Mikado'

Dracaena bacularis 'Mikado' bears dense, evergreen foliage of thin green leaves with pale-green horizontal bands which have vertical grooves from the base to the tip.

Dracaena Mikado is a spectacular plant whose leaves grow straight out of the ground and looks spectacular on a table-top.

19. Sanseviera Silver Blue

Sanseviera Silver Blue

Sanseviera Silver Blue is a stemless, succulent plant which bears silver-blue foliage patterned with darker longitudinal lines and mottling whose leaf color is more pronounced in bright light.

The flower in Sanseviera Silver Blue are greenish-white with green on the back and tips while the rest is brownish-pink and they are scented.

Sanseviera Silver Blue is thought to be a cultivar of Sanseviera kirkii also called Dracaena pethera which has its origins in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Malawi.

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