Sansevierias have a rich history of folklore and new science. Little is known about this plant other than having to know it as the Mother-in-law's tongue plant. It is known as this because of its very long snake-like leaves (hence, it is commonly referred to as the Snake Plant)and sharp pointed tips. Like the namesake, tongues very long and sharp tipped. But most mother-in-laws are quite unlike that,...RIGHT?
A successful showing of like-minded individuals who share the growing of sansevierias gathered for this one day event.
These plants have a rich history of cultivation. In China, it was kept as a treasured houseplant because the Eight Gods bestowed their eight virtues on those who grew them. These virtues include long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, art, poetry, health and strength. The plants were kept near the entrances inside the home so that the eight virtues could pass through in a manner pre-Feng Shui. These plants also were placed in fine restaurants, herbalists, acupuncturists, doctor's offices, accountant's offices, banks, shrines, monastaries, and even in rice paddies. Sansevierias were grown and cherished well before the Chinese ti plant (Dracaena spp.) also known as the Good Luck Bamboo!
The sansevieria is also referred to as a dragon for its many unique qualities. As with many Asian martial arts techniques, the strength comes from within. The sansevieria has been known to split large earthen pots upon reaching larger sizes. Many qualities from within the plant makes it very well kept and cherished. The mere presence of this plant is said to bestow the eight essential qualities upon you. So many times this plant is kept at the entrance or reception or foyer area of a home or place of business. The Chinese have usually kept this plant potted in a pot within a ceramic pot often ornated with dragons and phoenixes. The attraction of this plant towards dragons is said to be magnetic.
An interesting research program has been done by NASA using a few selected plants (one is Sansevieria) for air purification and to curb "Sick Building Syndrome." See http://www.zone10.com/wsdocs/tech/nasa/fyh.htm for more information and specifics on this interesing area of study.
Sansevierias in Hawaii
The Father of Sansevierias. Looking for who-knows-what among the naturalized plantings at Koko Crater gardens.
Sansevieria parva White Variegated form... a rare collector's plant.
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Sansevieria Japan Stripe Cultivar... a very sought after clone of an unknown species.
Sansevieria dawei Variegata.
Sansevieria trifasciata v. Laurentii "Forscate" an inverted variegated clone of a Lillian True /Slipped Stripes cultivar.
Sansevieria cylindrica patula Variegata a very rare and slow clone of the species.
Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii Stover's Sensation
A constantly mutating form with variable leaves.
Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii Tiger Stripe
Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii Twisted Sister.
Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii Metallica.
Sansevieria trifasciata hahnii Jade Pagoda
Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii Gold Banner, a rare collector's form.
Sansevieria trifasciata Austrian Black sport
Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii Lilian True
Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii Lilian True
A sport having almost solid gold upper leaves.
Sansevieria trifasciata Futura Simplex
A most striking form of Futura
Sansevieria trifasciata San Remo
A curious gold leaf maturing to near green upon maturity.
This site is sponsored in part by the Cactus and Succulent Society of Hawaii, Inc. (CSSH) and is another information site to increase awareness, and knowledge specifically for individuals growing these plants in Hawaii. A visit to our Annual Sansevieria Show and Sale is a must for individuals seeking these fascinating plants. October 19, 2002 at the Ward Warehouse Amphitheater from 9am to 4pm, Saturday. Many collectors share their rare clones and one of a kind selections. The show is usually a one day event, so please mark your calender and be there promptly!!!
Sansevieria horwoodii left and S. kirkii v. pulchra right
EIGHT VIRTUES OF THE EIGHT GODS
Prosperity: The plants' natural ability to produce many "pups" or keikis representing a wealth of family sometimes referred to as wealth.
Good Health: Plants are in good health at all times. Whether the plants are in good health or poor health, they look good without showing the ill effects of other house plants. The powers of good health can also be transferred to their owners and their guests/visitors.
Long Life: Plants live to be a very old age. Many outliving their owners and are passed down from generation to generation.
Intelligence: New shoot development may emerge from drain holes, the slightest crack in easment or container. Plants are also capable of reprodcing itself from a leaf or stem piece.
Art: The leaves are nature's canvas where no two leaves are exactly alike. Variegations will slightly vary on a plant, to a group of like plants and no two leaves will match identically. The freckling of mottled foliages to the deep greens will not duplicate a pattern or combination of colors as each individual leaf.
Poetry: Not the same meaning as a poem or rhyme. Poetry refers to symmetry as in Yin and Yang, the fluid movement of Tai Chi Chuang, the exacting form of Yoga. Thus the arrangement and placement of leaves are are set within the plant's natural state. Leaves are not produced and left to squander or be pushed aside. Every leaf has a function and form that relates to the main plant.
Beauty: It is the flowers that beauty is referred to. Like so many other flowers. The Chinese favors flowers that are night fragrant (i.e. Pak Lan, Sweet Mei Lan, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, etc.). The sansevieria is also beautiful with its night fragrant flowers.
Strength: New shoots have been known to burst through pots. Roots have been known to raise a plant well above its container and many plants have been known to split large heavy pots.
The sansevieria has all eight virtues and surpasses the common "good luck" bamboo and should be more widely grown for these properties plus its attractiveness and usefulness in closed conditions for its health values.
Feng Shui and the sansevieria
It has been well known through the centuries that the common sansevieria has brought good fortune and ward off evil spirits from the household. Today the sansevieria has evolved to create colorful and exotic color forms that can be modified and utilized in Feng Shui principles. The colors of black, gray/sliver, gold, white, cream and green highlight many forms of this fascinating group of plants. Now these colors can be used specifically in divided regions of a Feng Shui lay-out. Plus they will actually thrive in an indoor setting, even in a bathroom!
The Cactus and Succulent Society of Hawaii, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote education, fellowship among its members and encourage the positive aspects of growing cacti and succulents in Hawaii. Education plays a major role in the functions of this group because knowledge encourages responsibility in growing and dispels misconceptions held by the general public.
Upcoming events for 2002
Third Annual Mother-in-law's Tongue Plant Show and Sale
Sansevieria dooneri Green Gold
October 19, 2002
Ward Warehouse Ewa End
Time: 9am to 3pm Saturday only
Featuring: Oddities of the Cactus and Succulent Kingdom
Three Sansevieria MUST HAVES!
- Sansevieria trifasciata v. Laurentii Forscate
- Sansevieria trif. v. Futura Asahi
- Sansevieria trif. v. Futura Simplex
Links to look at
Cactus and Succulent Society of Hawaii Membership Information
Sansevierias removes air pollutants in the home
Sansevieria Growing Info
Cactus and Succulent Society of Hawaii Master Site