Sansevieria trifasciata Prain

Last updated: 6 August 2015

Scientific Name

Sansevieria trifasciata Prain


Aletris hyacinthoides var. zeylanica L., Sansevieria craigii auct., Sanseviera jacquinii N.E.Br., Sanseviera laurentii De Wild., Sansevieria trifasciata var. laurentii (De Wild.) N.E.Br., Sansevieria trifasciata var. trifasciata, Sansevieria zeylanica var. laurentii (De Wild.) L.H.Bailey. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Lidah buaya [2][3]
English African bowstring hemp, snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue [2], yellow leaf [3]
China Hu wei lan [3]
Indonesia Lidah buaya (Malay); letah bayawak (Sundanese); lidah mertua [2]
Thailand Waan hang suea (General); waan chakhe (Northern); lin naak­kharaat (Bangkok) [2]
Vietnam H[ood v[ix], l[uw][owx]i c[oj]p s[oj]c [2]
France Chanvre d'Afrique [2]
Spain Culebrilla, lengua de vaca, rabo de gato [3]
Congo Ilanga [3].

Geographical Distributions

Sansevieria trifasciata is native to tropi­cal Africa and is widely grown as an ornament such as in Indo-China, Indonesia (Java) and Malay­sia. It is cultivated as a fibre plant in tropical re­gions and has often escaped from cultivation. S. trifasciata is reported to be cultivated for its fibre in the Philippines. [2]

In Java, S. tri­fasciata is found up to 1000 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

S. trifasciata is a member of the family Dracaenaceae. It is sympodial rhizome, robust and yel­lowish-red. There are 2-6 leaves in each plant. They are much broader than thick, fleshy to rigidly coriaceous, dark green, with very conspicuous numerous, light or greyish-green, irregularly confined transverse bonds and nar­row dark green margin in the normal form. [2]

The large leaves are linear­ lance-shaped, measuring 40-175 cm x 2.5-9 cm, with channelled base, entire margins and acute at apex. The (peduncle included) raceme is 40-75 cm long and erect. [2]

The flower ­fascicles are scattered or arranged group-wise. The pedi­cel is 6-8 mm long and articulates at about the mid­dle. The perianth is 2.5-3 cm long, greenish-white, scented and divided just below the middle. The lobes are narrowly linear and broaden towards the green­ish tip. The stamens are 7-8 mm long while the style is 15-18 mm long. [2]

The fruit is spherical, measures 7-9 mm in diametre, orange and 1-2-seeded. [2]

The seed is cream-brown, globular-ellipsoid and measures 6-7 mm x 5 mm. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1 : The line drawing of S. trifasciata [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Sansevieria trifasciata Prain. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Aug 14]. Available from:
  2. Sansevieria trifasciata Prain In: Brink M, Escobin RP, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 17: Fibre Plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers; 2003.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 150.