Sansevieria Trifasciata is a banded dark and gray-green snake plant that has inspired over 15 cultivated varieties. From adding bright gold margins to becoming almost black, these varieties give options for plant lovers with many different aesthetic preferences.
Sansevieria Trifasciata varieties usually share the 3 ft (1 m) height, sword shape, and banding pattern of the original species. But some grow as short as 1 ft (30 cm) and have almost invisible banding through either a bright or extra dark color. They also share similar, easy care requirements.
What All Sansevieria Trifasciata Varieties Share
As closely related as Sansevieria Trifasciata (Dracaena trifasciata) varieties are, they share many traits. They grow slowly and have fleshy, tall sword-shaped leaves with a narrow, channel shape at the base. The leaves form a rosette arrangement from the yellow rhizome at the soil surface. Even the name “Trifasciata” means “a cluster of three.”
Many of the varieties reflect the original Sansevieria Trifasciata type. Their altered colors partially obscure the original’s banded green pattern on the top and underside, or with enough light, may completely cover the bands.
All varieties have similar care requirements.
They need well-draining soil, bright but indirect light, and 55–85°F (13–29°C) temperatures. They tolerate USDA Hardiness zones 9–12 and are prone to mealy bugs and root rot.
If you keep them outside in a warm climate, they’ll have small light green flowers on stalks that, if pollinated, turn into orange berries.
1. Sansevieria Moonshine
Sansevieria Moonshine (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Moonshine) stands out compared to other Trifasciata snake plants.
Plants grown with less light will noticeably still have the horizontal banding classic to snake plants. But plants grown in optimal light or young leaves will have green yet almost pearl white leaves. Only the margins retain a dark green.
A given leaf grows up to 2 ft (60 cm) tall and 4 in (10 cm) wide. Sometimes, retailers call this variety Sansevieria Moonglow.
2. Sansevieria Hahnii
Sansevieria Hahnii (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Hahnii) is a cultivar of the Trifasciata snake plant, but it also has 20 of its own varieties. So, if you like this cultivar, you can build a collection with it.
All have a more pronounced rosette than other snake plants, earning the nickname birds nest Sansevieria. They also grow shorter, with leaves around 12 in (30 cm) tall and 3 in (7.5 cm) wide.
The Hahnii, or Bird’s Nest Sansevieria was created in 1939 by William Smith of the Crescent Nursery Company in New Orleans, Louisiana. But the name comes from Sylvan Frank Hahn, who patented the variety. Some subtypes, like the Golden Hahnii, were patented later. Most Sansevierias aren’t patented.
3. Sansevieria Black Gold
Sansevieria Black Gold (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Black Gold) has a stark contrast in colors. Though not literally black and gold, it has a dark green on most of each leaf and gold on the trim.
Depending on the light the plant grows under, its green can be rich, medium dark, or nearly black. The horizontal bands show through the gold, sometimes more noticeable than the green core.
The leaves grow up to 3 ft (90 cm) tall and 3 in (7.5 cm) wide, while the whole plant spreads around 18 in (46 cm) wide.
There’s also a Hahnii variety called Black Gold, so while shopping, you’ll want to keep that in mind and not get one you don’t want.
4. Sansevieria Laurentii
Sansevieria Laurentii (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Laurentii), also known as the Sansevieria Goldband or Striped Snake Plant, is a brightly colored snake plant.
The margin has a rich golden color, but the green on the rest of the leaf has dark green and pale gray-green horizontal bands. The leaves grow up to 4 ft (120 cm) tall and 3 in (7.5 cm) wide.
Like the main Dracaena trifasciata species but unlike its other varieties, the Laurentii grows in the wild. Botanists originally collected it from the Congo.
It’s also one of the most popular and easiest to find Sansevierias in stores.
5. Sansevieria Silver Laurentii
Sansevieria Silver Laurentii (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Laurentii ‘Silver’) can look like a cross between the Laurentii and the Moonshine.
It has the gold to cream margin like the Laurentii and almost light gray green for the rest of the leaf. Some leaves have more pronounced banding, but the pale green still dominates.
As a cultivated variety of the Laurentii, the Silver also grows its leaves to 3 ft (90 cm) high and 3 in (7.5 cm) wide.
6. Sansevieria Black Coral
Sansevieria Black Coral (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Black Coral) grows thick with many extra leaves and a broader rosette than most Trifasciata varieties.
Its banded colors vary a lot, even on one leaf with sections where the light green dominates the dark green and other parts where the dark green takes over.
Their dark, low contrasting colors make it easier for Sansevieria Black Coral to survive in low light conditions. While they still grow best in the bright, indirect light snake plants in general love, dark varieties tolerate low light better than other snake plants.
7. Sansevieria Golden Flame
Sansevieria Golden Flame (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Golden Flame) got its name from how its rosette shape looks with its younger, mostly lime-yellow leaves toward the middle of the plant. Older leaves fall to the outside of the plant. They have a classic banded pattern and mostly a darker green.
But most individual leaves will have streaks of both colors. More of the gold streaking will be on the top side of the leaf, while green will have more presence on the bottom side. It needs a few hours of direct sun per day to enhance the yellow variegation.
Golden Flames also have thicker and more textured leaves. They may be sold as Sansevieria La Rubia.
8. Sansevieria Silver Queen
The Sansevieria Silver Queen (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Silver Queen) resembles the Moonshine variety. It has a pale gray-green color with darker green on the margins. Older leaves and plants grown in darker environments will show more banding or overall darker gray-green.
But while the Moonshine has broad leaves reaching 4 in (10 cm) wide, the Silver Queen has narrower leaves of only 2.5 in (6 cm).
The Silver Queen is also taller than the Moonshine and can grow up to 1m tall.
9. Sansevieria Black Moon
Sansevieria Black Moon (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Black Moon) resembles the Black Gold. It has a golden trim with mostly dark green for the rest of the leaf. But it has more moderate contrasts. The gold trim is thinner and can look more green, and the core dark green keeps more of the classic banding rather than becoming an almost solid dark green.
Like some other Trifasciata varieties, the Black Moon can be confused with a Hahnii subvariety of the same name. Hahnii plants have a definitive bird’s nest, vase shape, and arrangement and grow at most 12 in (30 cm). But a regular Sansevieria Black Moon keeps the typical Trifasciata messy rosette and grows to 2 ft (60 cm) tall.
10. Sansevieria Futura Robusta
Sansevieria Futura Robusta (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Futura Robusta) is ⅔ the height of most other Trifasciata and has up to twice as broad leaves. It earned the “Robusta” part of its name from its growth habit, which has a broader rosette base to the point that the leaves, more numerous than many other types, don’t seem like they share the same base.
Some plants labeled as just Futura are not Futura Robusta. You’ll see the difference in the margin color. Futura resembles Laurentii but has a narrower gold margin, but Futura Robusta lacks the gold. Some sellers label Futura Robusta as Robusta. So the labeling for this variety can get confusing.
11. Sansevieria Futura Superba
Sansevieria Futura Superba (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Futura Superba) is a medium-sized variety. It is sometimes referred to as a dwarf, though it stands between a typical full height and a typical dwarf height. It looks like a Laurentii with a broad golden trim and distinct banding. But this variety is shorter, broader, has richer colors, and more pronounced banding.
They will grow up to 2 ft (60 cm) tall, in contrast to the 4 ft (120 cm) tall Laurentii. It is sometimes called a dwarf Laurentii or Laurentii Superba.
12. Sansevieria Bantel’s Sensation
Sansevieria Bantel’s Sensation (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Bantel’s Sensation), also called the White Stripped Sansevieria, has narrower proportions at 1.5 in (4 cm) and grows to 3 ft (90 cm) tall. The horizontal banding is also often thicker or even blurred, like scribbling. Whitish strips run vertically, and the base channel continues upward for most of the leaf.
The name comes from Gustav Bantel of St. Louis, Missouri, who patented the variety in 1948. He developed the Bantel’s Sensation from the Laurentii variety.
13. Sansevieria Whitney
Sansevieria Whitney or Silver Flame (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Whitney) is another dwarf variety like the Futura Robusta & Futura Superba. Plant lovers favor it for the inverted color pattern where green banding is pronounced on the margins, but solid dark green dominates the core of the leaf.
It grows up to 2 ft (60 cm) tall. Many people often conflate a dwarf variety called Loop’s Pride Hahnii with the Whitney, so many resources will say the Whitney is a dwarf that grows only 1 ft (30 cm) tall.
14. Sansevieria Banded Nelsonii
Sansevieria Banded Nelsonii (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Banded Nelsonii) is one of the Trifasciata varieties with more, shorter, and thicker leaves than most. It grows to 2 ft (60 cm).
It resembles the Sansevieria Whitney with its banded edges and dark green core. The thickness of the middle green varies. It can be narrow or take up most of the leaf.
The leaf overall is narrower than the Whitney. It also has vertical ridges toward the margins and in the middle.
Oscar Nelson from Miami, Florida, patented this variety in 1944. He developed it from the Laurentii cultivar.
15. Sansevieria Moonshine Mutation
Moonshine Mutation (Dracaena trifasciata cv. Moonshine Mutation) has two types of horizontal banding. The middle of the leaf has a more classic Trifasciata look with almost equally noticeable dark and pale green. But for a broad trim, the dark green fades and looks like its namesake, the Moonshine. Also, like the Moonshine, the dark green returns at the very edge.
Sansevieria Trifasciata has come a long way from its time in its native Nigeria and the Congo. This member of the Asparagaceae family manages to be both simple and diverse in its cultivated varieties. Whether you want a snake plant that’s more muted or richer in color and pattern, there’s a variety to suit your tastes.