Sansevieria Zeylanica

sansevieria zeylanica

Image source: Photo by David J. Stang / CC BY-SA

Sansevieria Zeylanica is often misrecognized as Sansevieria Trifasciata. Both these species look closely similar and are difficult to tell apart. However, there is a subtle difference in their leaf patterns. Although this variety is less well-known as compared to Sansevieria Trifasciata (commonly known as snake plant or mother in law’s tongue), it is equally tough and hardy.
This plant belongs to the genus Dracaena of the Asparagaceae family.

Also known as

  • Ceylon Bowstring Hemp
  • Bowstring Hemp
  • Acyntha Zeylanica
  • Aloe Zeylanica
  • Aletris Zeylanica
  • Sansevieria Indica
  • Aloe Hyacinthoides var. Zeylanica

At a glance



Sansevieria Zeylanica is native to the area of southeast Asia. It is specifically found in dry and rocky areas of SriLanka and southern India.


Leaves are long, sword-shaped and erect. They are dark olive green in color and have pale green wavy horizontal stripes. Overall the foliage has tough, rugged look and pointy tips.


The plant can grow up to 2-3 feet tall and can spread almost 1 foot across. Individual leaves are 1 inch wide. The flower stalk can grow over 2 feet long.


The plant rarely blooms, but can blossom once a year. Flower stem grows clusters of delicate, tubular flowers. They are 1-1.5 inches long, lightly fragrant and have a greenish-white color.


All parts of this plant are mildly toxic if eaten. Poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, drooling and diarrhea. Keep away from children and pets.


Like many Sansevierias, it is less likely to get infested by pests and diseases. Mealybugs and spider mites are potential low-level threats.


Propagation by plant division, rhizomes and leaf cuttings are reliable methods to create new baby plants.

Growth Season

This evergreen plant actively grows during spring-summer season. Flowering period is usually winter-spring.

Growing Conditions


Coarse and granulated soil mix is best suitable. It is necessary to drain off excess water to prevent root rot. A well-draining sandy loam is recommended.


This drought-tolerant plant can't handle overwatering. Water once every other week in growing season, and once a month during winters.


Ideal conditions are moderate to bright indirect sunlight. However, it can also adjust to low light conditions and gentle direct sun.


Well suited for indoors and outdoors. Ideal temperature range is between 60-75°F (15-24°C). It can't tolerate extreme temperatures. Lower than 50°F (10°C) can cause leaf damage.

Care guide for Sansevieria Zeylanica

Read about the ideal growing conditions for your Zeylanica snake plant (Ceylon Bowstring Hemp). Learn how to repot, water, propagate and care for the Sansevieria Zeylanica.

Learn more about care and propagation of Sansevierias