Sansevieria aethiopica Thunb.

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Sansevieria aethiopica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rocky plateau by picnic and camping site, Khami Ruins.

Sansevieria aethiopica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rocky plateau by picnic and camping site, Khami Ruins.

Sansevieria aethiopica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rocky plateau by picnic and camping site, Khami Ruins.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Sansevieria caespitosa Dinter
Sansevieria scabrifolia Dinter
Sansevieria zeylanica sensu Baker
Common names:
Frequency: Frequent
Status: Native
Perennial, growing from a thick rhizome, often forming large colonies. Leaves 3-15 in rosette-like clusters, erect or somewhat recurved, 25-40 cm long, thick and leathery with a rough surface, green, mottled with paler bands; apex whitish, spiny; margin whitish with an inner red line. Inflorescence dense spike-like, 20-55 cm long; peduncle 25-45 cm long with several papery bracts4-9 cm long, sheathing at the base. Flowers white, cream or greenish, sometimes tinged purple, opening at night; tube 20-35 mm long; tepals 11-20 mm long. Stamens as long as or slightly longer than the perianth. Fruit 1-3-lobed, each lobe 6-8 mm wide, red when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: aethiopica: of the Ethiopian region, in this case referring to a historic name for most of Subsaharan Africa since this species is restricted to South-Central Africa and does not occur in modern Ethiopia.
Habitat: In sandy soil pockets on rock.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1450 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Wednesday 27 June 2012

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 31.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 348. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 78. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. (2010). Dracaenaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(2) Pages 23 - 24.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 90.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 121.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 184.

Other sources of information about Sansevieria aethiopica:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Sansevieria aethiopica
Flora of Caprivi: Sansevieria aethiopica
Flora of Mozambique: Sansevieria aethiopica
Flora of Zambia: Sansevieria aethiopica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Sansevieria aethiopica
African Plant Database: Sansevieria aethiopica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Sansevieria aethiopica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Sansevieria aethiopica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Sansevieria aethiopica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Sansevieria aethiopica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Sansevieria aethiopica
JSTOR Plant Science: Sansevieria aethiopica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Sansevieria aethiopica
Plants of the World Online: Sansevieria aethiopica
Tropicos: Sansevieria aethiopica
Wikipedia: Sansevieria aethiopica

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Sansevieria aethiopica., retrieved 13 April 2024

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