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Friday, April 21, 2006

Sansevieria 'Golden Hahnii'

The genus Sansevieria, a member of the agave family (Agavaceae) contains approximately 60 species indigenous to Africa, Arabia, and India. Several species and their cultivars are grown commercially for use as interior foliage plants. Indoors they may be used in floor level planters, small specimens, dish gardens and other combination planters, and occasionally in hanging planters. Sansevieria use depends upon growth habit, texture, and color of the plant.

Sansevieria trifasciata and its cultivars have been important foliage plants in Florida since the late 1920's. More than one-half of the sansevieria produced in Florida during the 1930's were shipped to Europe. Today bare-rooted plants are imported from the Caribbean Islands and Central America because of their low production costs. In 1956 sansevieria constituted 16 percent of the total foliage plant mix produced in Florida, but by 1975 they accounted for only 3 percent.

Sansevieria trifasciata `Golden Hahnii', golden birdnest sansevieria, has attractive green leaves with a combination of marginal and internal yellow stripes of variable width which are parallel with the veins. Discovered by Sylvan Hahn `Golden Hahnii' was issued a plant patent (Plant Patent No. 1224) in 1953. Producers have not attempted to grow `Golden Hahnii' extensively because the pattern of variegation is rather unstable and growth rate is slow.

Sansevieria 'Golden Hahnii' is rarely offered for sale today, because the plant is incredibly slow growing. There is also a plain green S. 'Hahnii' (see picture below) but it is not in the least attractive compared to the golden-coloured variety. Both make neat rosettes of overlapping leaves 10cm in length.

One of the best homes for them is a dry bottle garden; or they can be used in a dish garden. Liket he more conventional sans
evierias, both 'Hahnii' varieties abhor wet conditions, and will quickly succumb should the prevailing conditions offer a combination of wet and cold. Warm and dry will suit them very much better; in winter they will go for weeks on end without any water, and in some situations they could well go throught the winter completely dry, as do most of the cacti and succulents. Feeding is not important, but a loam-based potting mix will be much better than one that is entirely peat. Avoid cold and wetness.

Picture of
Sansevieria trifasciata cv. Hahnii


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