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Dracaena trifasciata


Dracaena trifasciata (Prain) Mabb.

Family Name: Asparagaceae
Synonyms: Sansevieria trifasciata Prain
Common Name: Mother-in-law's Tongue, African Bowstring-Hemp, Snake Plant, Spear Plant, Bowstring-Hemp, 虎尾兰


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Succulent Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Nigeria to Tropical Africa

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Landscape Uses General, Green Roof, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Coastal
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Rootzone Tolerance Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Easy to Grow, Dry Soils / Drought, Shallow Media (8 -10cm), Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Poor Infertile Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils, Alkaline high pH Soils
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed, Leaf Cutting, Storage Organ, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Green, Silver / Grey, Yellow / Golden
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Leathery, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Venation Parallel
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Acaulescent
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome), Aboveground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Green, White
Inflorescence Type Spike
Flowering Period Rarely
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 1127
Species ID 2420
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 28 March 2022.