|The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, Term
Sansevieria (after Raimond de Sangro, Prince of Sanseviero, born at Naples 1710. The spelling Sanseviera is not the earliest). Liliaceae. Bowstring Hemp. Herbaceous perennials, essentially tender foliage plants, although beautiful in flower, adapted to the coolhouse. They are grown for the stiff erect lvs., which are usually variegated.
Rhizome short, thick, sometimes stoloniferous: lvs. in a basal rosette, thick cartilaginous, frequently elongated, rather flat or terete: scape simple, tall, stout: fls. greenish white, medium-sized or long, clustered in an often dense raceme; perianth-tube slender, sometimes very long; stamens 6; ovary free, 3-celled.—Trop. and S. Afr. and India; the most recent treatment is by N. E. Brown in Kew Bulletin, 1915, where 54 species are described. The genus is important in yielding fiber.
Sansevierias are easily propagated by division or they may be raised from leaf-cuttings about 3 inches long. These cuttings form roots in sandy soil after about one month, after which a long stolon-like bud is formed, which produces the new plant at some distance from the cutting. Sansevierias are well adapted to house decoration, since they do not require much sunlight. A rather heavy soil suits them best.
The following species have been grown in various botanical gardens but are not known to be in general cult. unless otherwise specified. S. aethiopica, Thunb. Succulent, stemless subshrub: lvs. somewhat rosulate, suberect or erect-spreading, 5-16 in. long, thick, linear-lanceolate, acute, running out into white awl-like tips 2-3 in. long, concave-channeled, back strongly convex, sometimes transversely dark green-banded, margins red or white, somewhat glaucous: infl. 16-30 in. long; fls. white. S. Afr. B.M. 8487.—S. arborescens, Cornu, has sts. reaching a height of 4 ft., furnished entirely with short spreading lvs. E. Trop. Afr.—S. conspicua, N. E. Br., is a stemless herb: lvs. 3-5, lanceolate, 9-24 in. long, green on both surfaces, with dark lines above and rusty brown margins: fls. white, E. Trop. Afr.—S. Cornui, Ger. & Labr., is stemless, the lvs. not bordered and only a little striped at the base and on the outside. Senegambia; properly S. senegambica, Baker.—S. Craigii, Hort., is offered in the American trade as a form with variegated lvs.—S. fasciata, Cornu, is stemless: lvs. flat, leathery, 2 1/2 ft. long, 5 in. broad in the middle, bright green, striped and bordered with brown. Congo.—S. glauca, Hort., not Haw., resembles S. zeylanica, but the lvs. are somewhat shorter and not striate. Cochin-China.—S. grandis, Hook. f. Stemless: lvs. few, rosulate, obovate-oblong, the largest 3-4 ft. long, 6 in. broad, dull green with broad bands of much darker green: scape 2 ft. high, bearing a densely fld. terminal spike-like panicle 2-3 ft. long: fls. pure white, about 2 in. across. Trop. Afr. B.M. 7877. It produces a very strong, silky fiber.—S. intermedia, N. E. Br., is very similar to S. cylindrica, but the lvs. are channeled, the edges of the channel being acute below and obtusely rounded above. E. Trop. Afr.—S. liberica, Ger. & Labr. Lvs. more than 3 ft. long, bordered with ivory-white, not striped. W. Trop. Afr.—S. metallica, Ger. & Labr., is closely allied to what is called S. guineensis having shorter and somewhat broader lvs., which have a metallic tint and fewer markings.—S. rorida, N. E. Br. (Sanseverina rorida, Lanza), is almost stemless: lvs. 2-ranked, erect-spreading, horn-shaped, terete beneath, deeply channeled above: scape flexuous, longer than the lvs.: panicle elongated with many short reflexed branches: fls. small. Italian Somaliland.—S. Stuckyi, Godefr., is stemless: lvs. quite cylindric except a small furrow on the upper surface. E. Afr.—S. zanzibarica, Ger. & Labr., is short-stemmed: lvs. in a distichous rosette, subterete, without furrows, very rigid, up to 5-6 ft. long. Zanzibar.
Referenced from, The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, By L. H. Bailey, New York, 1963, The Macmillan Company. pg(s) 3070