Snake Plant

Botanical Name :Sansevieria trifasciata
Family: Ruscaceae Agavaceae
Genus: Sansevieria
Species: S. trifasciata
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Order: Asparagales

Common Names:Good luck plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant, Huw?ilán(Chinese), Tiger’s Tail(Japanese),Espada-de-são-jorge (sword-of-saint-george) (Brazil)In Africa, the plant is used as a protective charm against evil or bewitchment.

Habitat : Native to tropical west Africa from Nigeria east to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Now they are grown in many places.

Description:
It is an evergreen herbaceous 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 between 70–90 cm in length and 5–6 cm in width.

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The foliage is stiff, succulent, mottled, blotched or lined; many shapes and sizes.
There are several varieties of the good luck plant such as S. trifasciata laurentii “compacta goldeana”, S. trifasciata “Hahnii”, S. trifasciata Golden Hahnii and S. arborescens.The snake plant is often mottled dark green and cream with small white fragrant flowers.It produces a berry as the fruit.


Cultivation:

Light shade, well drained soil; do not water too much.
Is tolerant of salt and saline soils.
It can withstand 28° F. for very brief periods.
Can also be kept as a potted household plant.

Propagation: It can be propagated by cuttings or by dividing the rhizome. The first method has the disadvantage that the variegation is likely to be lost.

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Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are used to treat shingles (herpes zoster).
In Singapore and Indo-China the warm juice of S. trifasciata leaves is dropped into the ear as a treatment for earache; the juice of fresh leaves is used to treat pharyngitis and hoarseness.

Other Uses:
Like some other members of its genus, S. trifasciata yields bowstring hemp, a strong plant fiber once used to make bowstrings.

It is now used predominantly as an ornamental plant, outdoors in warmer climates, and indoors as a houseplant in cooler climates. It is popular as a houseplant as it is tolerant of low light levels and irregular watering; during winter it needs only one watering every couple of months. It will rot easily if overwatered. A study by NASA found that it is one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality by passively adsorbing toxins such as nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde.

Numerous cultivars have been selected, many of them for variegated foliage with yellow or silvery-white stripes on the leaf margins. Popular cultivars include ‘Compacta’, ‘Goldiana’, ‘Hahnii’, ‘Laurentii’, ‘Silbersee‘, and ‘Silver Hahnii’.

In Africa, the plant is used as a protective charm against evil or bewitchment.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.tropilab.com/snakeplant.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansevieria_trifasciata

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