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Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ 1939
pronounced: san-seh-VEER-ee-uh try-fass-ee-AH-tuh HAH-nee-eye
(Asparagaceae – the asparagus family)
common names: Bird’s Nest Sansevieria, Hahn’s Sanseveriera
Sansevieria is named for Prince Raimond de Sansgrio de Sanseviero, 18th century patron of botanical expeditions; trifasciata comes from two Latin words, tres, three, and fascia, a band.
This is an attractive short-growing form of the mother plant, and was discovered by William W. Smith, Jr. in the Crescent Nursery Company, New Orleans, Louisiana. The plant was discovered in 1939 and patented by 1941. The patent was assigned to Sylcan Frank Hahn, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
It is a miniature form of the plant, that only grows to about 15 – 20 cm tall. Its dark green leaves have clear horizontal bands, and are arranged in an attractive rosette. It is a stemless perennial succulent herb that grows rapidly outside. It reproduces very rapidly and spreads everywhere by its creeping rhizomes, and can form dense stands. It has the capacity to be just as much an invasive pest as its mother plant has become on Magnetic Island.
There are 2 – 6 leaves, spreading, more-or-less lanceolate, tapering gradually from the middle or above, fibrous, fleasy, 10 – 15 cm long, 5 – 7 cm wide, and channelled at the base, banded on both surfaces from base to apex, a very distinct light dull green or clear whitish green, banded with deep grass-green to almost blackish green. The leaf surface is smooth.
The rarely-seen inflorescence is an erect raceme, 40 cm plus high, loosely filled with 3 – 8 flowers per bunch, on a stalk 3 -8 mm in diameter.
If fruits are produced, they are globose, 8 – 9 mm in diameter, a bright orange in colur, and containing up to 3 seeds.
Given its potential to proliferate, this is best grown as a pot plant, and does well inside. It does like to be well-drained, and needs re-ptting only when it becomes root-bound.
The plant is 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.
It is a good office plant, as it removes formaldehyde from the atmosphere.
All parts of the plant are poisonous when ingested.
Photographed in Picnic Bay 2018
Page last updated 21st May 2018