Group of approximately 60 spe- cies native to Africa and India. Admired for their stiff, attractive leaves, which grow from rhizomes. Very popular as houseplants; can also be grown outdoors in mild- winter areas. Outdoors, they accept sun or light shade and just about any well-drained soil, tolerat- ing drought and even salt spray. Indoors, they do best in bright light but will accept dim light. Allow soil to go dry between soakings. For best growth, feed monthly in spring and summer with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Easy to root from leaf cuttings. Mature, pot- bound plants may occasionally bear spikelike clusters of fragrant flowers in spring or summer.
- Forms a rosette of three or four rigidly upright, unusual-looking leaves, each 24 feet long and only about 1 inches wide; they are cylindrical, in dark green with lighter green horizontal bands.
- White or pinkish, 112 inches-long flowers.
- Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
- Rosette of 6 to 12 narrow leaves that grow upward, then arch out- ward; each leaf is 816 inches long and 121 inches wide.
- Leaves are medium green with dark green horizontal bands; flowers are pinkish white.
- Hardy to 25F.
snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue, bowstring hemp
- The original brown-thumb houseplant, supremely tolerant of neglect.
- If you kill this one, better give up gardening and turn to macram.
- Dark green leaves with gray-green horizontal bands can reach 4 feet tall, 2 inches wide; they are rigidly upright or slightly spreading at the top.
- Tiny greenish white flowers.
Few plants boast such colorful common names. The first one listed refers to the banded or mottled foliage, resembling the skin of some snakes; the second name comes from the long leaves, which are sharp and always fully extended. The third comes from the tough leaf fibers, which were used for bowstrings. Selections include the following.