Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly called snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, is native to tropical western Africa. It is a stemless evergreen perennial that, with proper care, will last for many years. In its native habitat, plant foliage may rise to as much as 4’ tall, but is often smaller (to 2’ tall) on indoor plants. Erect, fleshy, sharply-pointed, sword-shaped leaves are deep green with light gray-green horizontal stripes. Leaves rise stiffly in a rosette from a thick rhizome. Small, fragrant, greenish-white flowers bloom on mature plants in spring, followed by orange berries. Flowers and fruit rarely appear on indoor plants.
Genus name honors an 18th-century Italian patron of horticulture.