Colours and shapes
Do you like a bit of choice? That’s lucky, because there are some 70 different species of snake plant. They're characterised by the grey-green colour with stripes, spots and yellow edges. If you’d like the plant to be a bit darker, place it further from the window. Lighter? Then move it closer to the window. The leaves are firm spikes that appear to stick straight up out of the soil. These sizeable spikes usually don’t grow higher than 1 m. But they do grow very vigourously. The pot can even crack if it’s not big enough. You don’t often see the flowers, but if they appear they will reward your patience with a lovely sweet fragrance.
Also known as mother-in-law's-tongue, the leaf’s sharp spike traditionally represents the sharp tongue of women. Watch out if you're giving it as a gift to your partner’s lovely mum.
The snake plant is used to a bit of warmth, since it comes from the deserts of Ethiopia, amongst other places. Naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg brought it back in 1794 and named it after the Italian Prince Raimondo di Sangro, who came from San Severo. Other species arrived here after 2004.