Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Sansevieria hyacinthoides
(L.) Druce, Asparagaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES

Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Reject, score: 14 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Sansevieria guineensis (L.) Willd.; Sansevieria thyrsiflora Thunb.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: African bowstring hemp, bowstring hemp, iguanatail

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Acaulescent perennials forming large colonies; rhizome subterranean, 1.2-2.5 cm thick. Leaves rosulate, 2-8, lanceolate to broadly linear, 60-85≈4-8 mm, flat to somewhat incurved, smooth to slightly rough, subulate tip 0.5 cm long, acute, hard but not horny, margin bright red, entire, 1 mm wide, with a pale membranous edge easily peeling off, with irregular, paler horizontal areas, conspicuous banding may fade with age; keeled towards the base, petiole 20-25 cm long; basal scaly leaves 2-3, 8-12≈4-6 cm, membranous, apex slightly obtuse, with distinct veins. Inflorescence an erect raceme, 65-70(-75) cm long, axis 0.4-0.6 cm wide; flowers 4-5(-7) per cluster, 2-2.5 cm apart, subtended by 0.4-0.5 cm long membranous bracteoles; pedicels 0.4-0.7(-0.9) cm long. Flower perianth (26-)30-40(-65) mm long; tube 14-20 mm long, lobes cream to pale mauve, 16-20 mm long; filaments ± 2 cm long, thin, anthers yellow, 0.3-0.4 cm long. Fruit orange or yellow, globose, shortly stipitate; seeds globose, ± 8 mm in diameter, the epidermis thick." (Flora of Tropical East Africa as cited by/included on JStor's Global Plants entry for Sansevieria hycanthoides)

"Leaves 4-10 x 0.5-0.9 dm; blade with transverse white- or yellow-mottled bands, flat, glabrous, margins often yellow, entire, tufted. Inflorescences paniculate, surpassing leaves, 6 in diameter. Flowers: tepals greenish white to pale pink, 25-40 mm, limb lobes recurved, linear, 14-18 mm; filaments surpassing lobes; ovary 5 mm; style filiform, to 4 mm; stigma capitate. Berries red, globose, 8 mm in diameter"  (Flora of North America online).

Habitat/ecology:  In Florida (U.S.), "near old dwelling sites; 0-100 m"  (Flora of North America online).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa (GRIN).


Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control:  If you know of control methods for Sansevieria hyacinthoides, please let us know.

Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 8 MAR 2010 and was last updated on 16 MAY 2017.