Sansevieria suffruticosa

Common Name: bowstring hemp 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Tropical eastern Africa
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers indoors
Bloom Description: Rarely flowers indoors
Sun: Part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Thorns


Winter hardy to USDA Zone 10-12. In St. Louis, this is an easy-to-grow houseplant that tolerates a wide range of cultural and environmental conditions. It prefers warm, bright locations, but tolerates some shade. Protect from hot afternoon sun. Best grown in a well-draining potting mix. Water regularly during the growing season, with significantly reduced watering from fall to late winter. Do not pour water on the center of the rosette. Indoor plants may be placed in shady outside locations in summer. Propagate by leaf cuttings or dividing offsets.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sansevieria suffruticosa is an evergreen, succulent perennial native to eastern Africa. The leaves are spreading to upright, stiff, and cylindrical, with a central groove extending from the base to around halfway up the length of the leaf. The leaves can reach up to 2' long and 0.75" wide with spine-like tips. The foliage emerges from stout, branched stems forming rosettes. Mature clumps can reach up to 2.5' tall with an equal spread. Creamy white, tubular flowers are held in loose clusters atop a 1' tall, spike-like raceme. Will slowly form colonies from pups and branching offsets.

Genus name honors an 18th-century Italian patron of horticulture.

The specific epithet suffruticosa means "having a shrubby habit", in reference to the branched growth habit of this species.


Overwatering often causes root rot. Watch for mealybugs and spider mites.


Good low-maintenance indoor plant.