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Snake Plant Types: Different Varieties And Cultivars

Snake plants are very popular species of indoor houseplants. These sturdy tropical plants are native to Africa. Snake plant is actually a type of succulent. Until recently it was officially labeled under the name of Sansevieria Trifasciata. As a result, many people still presume it to be in the Sansevieria family. However, in 2017 botanists discovered that it belongs to the Dracaena genus. Therefore, a new scientific name for a snake plant is Dracaena Trifasciata.
In this article, I’ve mentioned 7 varieties and cultivars of snake plants or Dracaena Trifasciata.

There are many different names for snake plants such as Mother-in-laws Tongue, Sansevieria Trifasciata, Saint George’s sword, Snake’s tongue, Bow string hemp, Jinn’s tongue or Devil’s tongue. Numerous cultivars and varieties of snake plants have been discovered over the time.
All the varieties are very sturdy, easy to grow and nice looking. They need less watering and are tolerant to varying weather conditions. One of the great abilities of snake plants is they purify air by absorbing toxins and pollutants. They take in harmful chemicals such as benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde from the air and release oxygen, even at night. These low maintenance plants are the best pick for new gardeners.

Dracaena Trifasciata Prain

Sansevieria trifasciata trifasciata 0zz
  • Dracaena Trifasciata is a plant well-known for its hardiness and exceptional sword-like leaves.
  • It is a plant that grows upright and has leathery dark green leaves. Light green colored horizontal zigzag stripes give them a nice marbled effect.
  • In suitable conditions, this plant can grow as high as 5-6 feet.
  • It is a very durable, hardy, easy-to-grow plant that is actually rather difficult to kill. It can thrive on irregular watering, no direct sunlight and very less care.
  • Snake plants occasionally flower with tubular greenish white blossoms.


512px Sansevieria trifasciata var. laurentii Jardin botanique Meise 1
  • Laurentii is one of the most commonly grown snake plants.
  • It is also known as “Striped Snake plant” or “Striped Mother-in-law’s Tongue”. It is a perennial succulent that makes a great low maintenance indoor plant.
  • Its sword-shaped leaves grow upright from a basal rosette. The leaves are flat, wide and rigid. They have a deep green color with horizontal bands of light-green. The leaves are bordered with noticeable yellow edges which are parallel to the length.
  • The plant can have greenish white flowers that are usually 1 inch long.
  • It can grow up to 3-4 feet high.


  • This nice looking cultivar is often assumed to belong to the snake plant family. However, the origin of this species is still unknown.
  • It has very broad, tongue-shaped leaves that shoot out of the ground.
  • The leaves are pale green almost silver color and have dark green narrow borders. The foliage grows erect forming individual divisions of around 3 or more leaves. They make a vase-shaped form as the leaves diverge slightly from the center.
  • This plant can grow up to 2 feet high. While each leaf can get as wide as 4-5 inches.
  • Moonshine plant may flower if you grow it in the bright light or morning sun. The blossom has pikes of whitish flowers.
  • It is one of the fastest and easiest growing plants.


  • Hahnii is a gorgeous miniature cultivar of the famous Sansevieria Trifasciata or Snake Plant. It was discovered in 1939 and was patented by Sylvan Hahn in 1941.
  • Hahnii plants have darker green leaves with clear horizontal creamy white stripes. The foliage forms an attractive rosette shape.
  • It is a stemless evergreen succulent that grows rapidly and reproduces rapidly. Especially when grown outside, it spreads everywhere by way of its underground rhizomes.

Silver Hahnii

  • The “Silver Bird’s Nest” or “Silver Hahnii snake plant” is one of the sub-types of Hahnii cultivar.
  • It is a great ornamental perennial that has wide, short leaves. The evergreen foliage is silver light green in color with dark green horizontal stripes.
  • This plant can grow from 6-12 inches tall.
  • These beautiful low maintenance plants need virtually no clean up or grooming.

Some awesome benefits of having snake plants in your house

Golden Hahnii

512px S t hahnii golden hahnii
  • Golden Hahnii is also popular by names “Golden Bird’s Nest” because of it’s distinct shape and color.
  • It is a lovely dwarf cultivar with attractive leaves. The leaves are darker green with a combination of marginal and internal white-yellow stripes. These stripes can have different width or length and are parallel to the veins of the leaf. The foliage forms a beautiful rosette shape.
  • Golden Hahnii can only grow about half a foot tall.
  • This cultivar rarely seems to flower.

Twisted Sister

  • This beautiful plant is also known by other names such as “Gold Twist”, “Sansevieria trifasciata Twisted Sister” or “Twisted Sister Snake plant”.
  • Variations of twisted sister are Trifasciata Futura Twisted Sister and Trifasciata Hahnii Twisted Sister.
  • As the name suggests this plant grows shiny twisted leaves that curl around to give it a unique shape. Furthermore, they are bright olive green with thick golden edges.
  • This plant can grow up to 1-1.5 foot in height and width.
  • It can be a great indoor accent plant.

Bantel’s Sensation

  • ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ is a long lasting, evergreen cultivar of Dracaena Trifasciata.
  • It is also popular by other names like “White Snake plant”, “White Stripe Mother-in-law’s Tongue” or “White Stripe Snake plant”.
  • It has straight dark olive green colored leaves with linear silver-white stripes.
  • The leaves are more fibrous, thinner and narrower than most other Trifasciatas. Usually they are 1-2 inches wide.
  • It is also slightly less tolerant to low light conditions than a typical snake plant because of its white color. So, make sure they always get enough light.
  • This plant rarely flowers. However when it does, it can bloom in summer with fragrant greenish white flowers.
  • It can grow up to 3 feet. And, usually it takes 5-10 years to reach the maximum height.
  • Furthermore, ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ won the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Image sources:

  1. Dracaena Trifasciata: Photo by David J. Stang / CC BY-SA
  2. Laurentii: Photo by Ji-Elle / CC BY-SA
  3. Silver Queen: Photo by Mokkie / CC BY-SA
  4. Hahnii: Photo by Yercaud-elango / CC BY-SA
  5. Silver Hahnii: Photo by Dinkum / CC0
  6. Golden Hahnii: Photo by Frau-doktor / Public domain
  7. Hahnii Twisted sister: Photo by Yercaud-elango / CC BY-SA
  8. Bantel’s Sensation: Photo by Mokkie / CC BY-SA