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Accepted Scientific Name: Sansevieria trifasciata cv. hahnii
Dwarf habit at Iao Tropical Gardens of Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 22, 2012.
Origin and Habitat: Garden origin. The natural species is native to to tropical West Africa from Nigeria east to the Congo.
Description: Sansevieria trifasciata cv. Hahnii (a.k.a. Bird’s Nest Sansevieria) is a lovely a miniature form of the common Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciataSN|19026]]SN|19026]]) that is only about 15-20 cm tall. Its darker green leaves with clear horizontal bands is arranged in an attractive rosette. It is a stemless perennial succulent herb that grows rapidly outside, reproduces rapidly and spreads everywhere by way of its creeping rhizome forming dense stands. This species can bloom in summer with sweetly fragrant greenish white flowers but this cultivar rarely seems to do so.
History: Sansevieria "Hahnii" was discovered by William W. Smith, Jr. in the Crescent Nursery Company, New Orleans, Louisiana. This plant was discovered in 1939 and was patented by 1941. The patent (Plant Patent No. 470) was assigned to Sylvan Frank Hahn, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Rhizome: Sympodial, sometimes above ground, sometimes underground, robust, and yellowish 1.3 to 2.5 cm thick.
Leaves: 2 to6, spreading, lanceolate and flat, tappering gradually from the middle or above, fibrous, fleshy, 10-15 cm tall, 5-7 cm wide, and channelled at the base, banded on both surfaces from base to apex, very distinct light dull green or clear whitish-green banded with deep grass-green to almost blackish-green. The leaf surface is smooth.
Inflorescence (raceme): Erect 40 or more cm high, loosely filled with three to eight flowers per bunch. Stalk 3–8 mm thick
Flowers:(1–)3–4 per cluster,sweetly fragrant greenish white.
Fruits (berries): Globose, 8-9 mm in diameter, bright orange, and contain 1-2(-3) seeds.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Sansevieria trifasciata group
- Sansevieria trifasciata Prain: has upright, sword-shaped leaves from a basal rosette, dark green with horizontal bands of light greyish-green. Distribution: West Africa from Nigeria east to the Congo.
- Sansevieria trifasciata cv. Bantel's Sensation: (White sansevieria) - A beautifully elegant variegated plant with 60-90 cm long by 4 cm inch wide dark green leaves that are dramatically banded with snow white streaks.
- Sansevieria trifasciata cv. Golden Hahnii: (Golden birdnest sansevieria) has attractive yellow/golden leaves with a combination of marginal and internal green stripes of variable width/length which are parallel with the veins of the leaf.
- Sansevieria trifasciata cv. hahnii: a.k.a. Bird's Nest Sansevieria is a dwarf version with rosettes of leaves banded green and dark green.
- Sansevieria trifasciata cv. Laurentii: similar in growth and appearance to Sansevieria trifasciata, but has broad creamy-yellow, longitudinal stripes on margins.
- Sansevieria trifasciata cv. Moonshine: has pale green (nearly silver) leaves, ageing to an olive colour with slight cross banding with a narrow dark green margin.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons: Monocotyledons” Springer Science & Business Media, 17 July 2001
2) Forest & Kim Starr “Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother in law's tongue, snake plant)”. Plants of Hawaii. <http://www.starrenvironmental.com>. Web. 1 Jan. 2015.
3) Wikipedia contributors. "Sansevieria trifasciata." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 1 Jan. 2015.
4) Geoffrey Mwachala & Paul Mbugua “Flora of Tropical East Africa” 2007
5) Watt, J., and Breyer-Brandwijk, M., “The Medical and Poisonous Plants of Southern and Eastern Africa” E & S Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1962
6) Mitchell, J. and Rook, A., “Botanical Dermatology. Plants Injurious to the Skin.” Greengrass, Vancouver 1979
7) Spoerke, Susan C. Smolinske “Toxicity of Houseplants” CRC Press, 03 July 1990
8) Christophe Wiart “Medicinal Plants of China, Korea, and Japan: Bioresources for Tomorrow’s Drugs and Cosmetics” CRC Press, 11 May 2012
9) James Del Prince “Interior Plantscaping: Principles and Practices” Cengage Learning, 12 October 2012
10) Burkill, H.M. “The useful plants of west tropical Africa” Vol 3 1985.
11) Nicholas Edward Brown “Sansevieria - a monograph of all the known species (with plates).” In: Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Heft 5. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1915, S. 239–241 (online).
12) Peter A. Mansfeld: “Die Gattung Sansevieria – Alle Arten und ihre Pflege.” BoD, Hamburg 2013
13) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton: “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names.” Birkhäuser 2004.
Dwarf habit at KiHana Nursery Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 15, 2011. (Sansevieria trifasciata cv. hahnii) Photo by: Forest Starr & Kim Starr
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Cultivation and Propagation: Easy to cultivate, Sansevieria trifasciataSN|19026]]SN|19026]] cv. Hahnii, is a groundcover that grows pretty fast and spreads unlike the tall common Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciataSN|19026]]SN|19026]]), it's parent, which can grow up to 60-90 cm tall. It needs the same care as the standard Snake Plant, just make sure you take care in winter to keep rather dry or you can get root rot. It is a very drought tolerant plant, but not as cold hardy as some. It needs heat and dry air in Winter and half shade in Summer. Even this version is prone to suddenly rotting especially if exposed to excessive water, cold or a combination of the two. This plant is invasive in subtropical areas from zone 9a southward! It grows rapidly outside in full sun, reproduces rapidly and spreads everywhere. This is a good houseplant like most or all Sansevierias.
Soil: Use a well-drained potting mix consisting of 3 parts loam to 1 part of pumice.
Fertilization: They are fertilized once during the growing season with cactus plant food or half rate of 20-20-20.
Repotting: Transplant only when plant is pot-bound.
Watering Needs: The plants are very drought tolerant and are watered about every other week during the growing season, allow to dry somewhat between waterings. During the winter months they are watered once a month.
Exposure: Bright filtered light. Will tolerate low light levels but grows best and flowers if given bright light and even tolerates full sun. Afternoon shade in summer.
Frost Tolerance: Avoid any frost. This species is dormant in winter, keep it at or around 4°C.
Outdoors: In the garden In mild to tropical climates it prefers semi-shade or shade and it is not fussy.
Pests/Disease: Mealybugs and spider mites.
Use: It is a great container plant for interior or exterior use that needs little care. It makes a choice designer's architectural statement. It is popular as an ornamental plant as it is easy to culture and take care of in a home.
Propagation: They are propagated by cuttings or by divisions taken at any time. Cuttings should be at least 10 cm long and inserted in moist sand. A rhizome will emerge at the cut edge of the leaf. Variegated cultivars offspring will lack variegation if rooted from leaves.
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