Rare Snake Plant List: 15 Unusual Varieties [With Pics!]

Snake plants are essentially taller, more showy succulents with strap-like leaves and a tough, spiky side.

You’ll find them across the tropical regions of Western Africa, Madagascar, and southern Asia in many weird and wonderful variations.

All snake plants are drought tolerant and incredibly forgiving in the face of neglect, retaining the ability to somehow remain fresh and perky – although it may be hard to tell with some of the following varieties due to their colors and strange leaf shaping.

Until recently, the snake plant had always been classified under the Sansevieria genus (the updated classification is now Dracaena but for the sake of ease, we’ll be using the more common name below).

Ranging from minimalist to more dramatic styles, here are 15 lesser-known snake plants.

1. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’

A look at the long, narrow leaves of the Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’ plant.

This elegant, contemporary plant has broad, stiff leaves in an upright growth habit with sharp pointed tips and edges – lending it to its cheeky alternative name!

The leaves are pale green and silvery gray in color with dark green margins and faint mottled bands of green on the leaf surface.

  • Common Name: Mother-in-Law’s tongue
  • Average Price: $66-80
  • Average Size: 11-12 inches tall
  • Key Features: Silvery green foliage, sharp edges, dark margins, and mottling detail

2. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Bantel’s Sensation’

This hard-to-kill plant was first discovered and patented by Gustav Bantel in 1948 and features erect, narrow leaves of dark olive green streaked with bands of white, yellow, and lighter green shades.

This pretty striping detail is more apparent on the outer side of the leaves than the inner/concave side.

  • Common Name: Sansevieria Bantel’s sensation
  • Average Price: $30-60
  • Average Size: 2-3 feet tall
  • Key Features: Slender, erect leaves; variegated streaks of green, yellow, and white

3. Sansevieria metallica ‘Siam Silver’

Siam Silver has wide and leathery lance-shaped leaves that drape slightly as they age.

Each leaf has varying bands of fine to thick vertical streaks of silvery gray and light green, which lends a pretty sheen in bright sunlight.

Reddish copper bands line the leaf margins, adding further contrast.

  • Common Name: Tom Grumbley
  • Average Price: $50-70
  • Average Size: 2-3 feet tall
  • Key Features: Broad leaves with delicate silver striping, contrasting red leaf edges

4. Sansevieria aubrytiana ‘Sayuri’

The top portion of leaves from a Sansevieria aubrytiana ‘Sayuri’ plant.

This pretty variety is a hybrid of S. Cylindrica and S. Gabriella and features pale gray-green foliage with faint vertical strokes of silver, blue, and white with subtle white margins.

The stiff, upright leaves have a broad sword shaping and remain mostly erect, making them a good choice for homes with tight corners.

  • Common Name: Snake Plant ‘Sayuri’
  • Average Price: $30-40
  • Average Size: 1 foot tall
  • Key Features: Soft silver, white, and blue variegation; erect, compact leaves

5. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Black Dragon’

Perfect for adding intrigue to small spaces, this compact un-variegated snake plant produces leaves in a thick lance shape growing from a rosette.

The glossy, dark-green leaves have a subtle light-green mottling on the underside and will remain intensely dark green when kept in shady conditions or become a vivid lush green in bright light.

  • Common Name: Sansevieria ‘Black Dragon’
  • Average Price: $30-50
  • Average Size: 7-11 inches tall
  • Key Features: Rich, dark-green leaves; compact habit; underside mottling pattern

6. Sansevieria ehrenbergii ‘Samurai’

This intriguing plant was named after German naturalist Christian Ehrenberg and has inwardly curved blade-shaped leaves that grow in an elegant zig-zag formation with one leaf growing from two opposite rows.

The main attraction of the thick bottle-green leaves is the shimmering copper-gold trim lining the margins.

  • Common Name: Sansevieria ‘Samurai’
  • Average Price: $15-20
  • Average Size: 4-5 feet tall
  • Key Features: Curved leaves, zig-zag growth, contrasting gold/copper band detail

7. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Golden Hahnii’

Up-close look at several Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Golden Hahnii’ plants.

A compact but striking succulent – this snake plant is a busy rosette of waxy, oval-shaped leaves with pointed tips.

The center of the leaves feature patchy ripples of dark and pale green and are bordered by an eye-catching creamy-yellow stripe which can vary in thickness on each leaf.

  • Common Name: Golden Bird’s Nest Sansevieria
  • Average Price: $18-20
  • Average Size: 7-8 inches tall
  • Key Features: Contrasting yellow leaf border, green variegated pattern, wide oval leaves

8. Sansevieria parva

A variegated Sansevieria parva plant's leaves.

This simple and stylish plant is extremely tolerant of neglect and makes a classic office staple with its long, slender leaves that arch gracefully.

Its narrow dark-green leaves stretch to over a foot in height and display a faint light-green banding pattern on the inner sides. Variegated forms, as pictured above, are available as well.

  • Common Name: Kenya Hyacinth
  • Average Price: $30-40
  • Average Size: 1.5 feet tall
  • Key Features: Long, slender leaves; faint green band pattern

9. Dracaena eilensis ‘Chahin’

Native to a small region of Somalia, this short, odd-looking succulent was claimed by South African botanist John Lavranos in 1973.

It produces around four to six tough, cylindrical leaves that curl almost entirely in on themselves as they mature. The leaves are a light blue-green with faint white bands and a bright lipstick-red edge.

  • Common Name: Dracaena eilensis
  • Average Price: $30-50 (for the seeds only)
  • Average Size: 10-12 inches tall
  • Key Features: Fully-curled, enclosed leaves; blue, green, and white coloring; bright-red margins

10. Sansevieria cylindrica

Multiple Sansevieria cylindrica plants in black plastic pots.

This attractive upright plant features long, tubular leaves with a rounded and slightly ribbed edge and blunt tips caused by a failure to express typically flat plant genes.

Plants typically have three or four of these thick spear-like shoots displaying a base dark green color with marbled bands of pale and medium green.

  • Common Name: African Spear
  • Average Price: $30-90
  • Average Size: 4-6 feet tall
  • Key Features: Long, tubular foliage; dark/light green marbled pattern

11. Sansevieria powysii ‘Blue Kew’

Several small Sansevieria powysii ‘Blue Kew’ plants grouped together.

Growing in a similar formation to the S. ehrenbergii ‘Samurai’, this small succulent produces arching and slightly inward-curling leaves but with a notable long spine at the tip.

The leaves of the ‘Blue Kew’ are also blue-gray in tone and have jagged, crinkled edges at either side with a distinctive light-bronze band highlighting the margins.

  • Common Name: Sansevieria ‘Blue Kew’
  • Average Price: $30-40
  • Average Size: 4-5 inches tall
  • Key Features: Arching, zig-zag leaf formation; blue-gray color; jagged leaf margins

12. Sansevieria ‘Cleopatra’

This compact but characterful snake plant has multiple broad and slightly ruffled leaves growing from a rosette base and displays a beautifully intricate leaf pattern.

The arching leaves have a base pale-green color with striking dashes of dark green, and finishing off the look is a reddish-brown and white band around the margins.

  • Common Name: Snake Plant Cleopatra
  • Average Price: $40-50
  • Average Size: 1-2 feet tall
  • Key Features: Pale green leaves with dark-green strokes, contrasting red/brown edging

13. Sansevieria aubrytiana ‘Jade’

A perfect hall or entranceway filler, this upright, clump-forming snake plant produces large, broad, glossy leaves that fan out from the center somewhat, giving them their common name Whale Fin.

The leaves sport a beautiful jade-green shade with specks of yellow, pale green, and gray and feature a subtle tan-brown band lining its slightly rippled edges.

  • Common Name: Whale Fin Sansevieria
  • Average Price: $30-40
  • Average Size: 1.5-2 feet tall
  • Key Features: Tall, broad leaves; green, yellow, and gray variegation

14. Sansevieria roxburghiana ‘Roxette’

The S. roxburghiana ‘Roxette’ is one of the wilder-looking snake plant varieties around, as its long unruly leaves grow in all directions as opposed to a neat, upright formation.

Its narrow lance-shaped leaves are medium green with pale green-yellow bands and mottling – the extracts of which are used throughout India to treat type 2 diabetes and other ailments.

  • Common Name: Indian Bowstring-Hemp ‘Roxette’
  • Average Price: $10-20
  • Average Size: 2.5-3 feet tall
  • Key Features: Leaves splay out in all directions, lighter green/yellow bands and mottled pattern

15. Sansevieria kirkii

Several Sansevieria kirkii Silver Blue plants in plastic pots.

This fairly short, compact plant features thick, sword-shaped leaves that drape out evenly and gracefully from the center, a little like a palm tree or a multi-point star as its common name suggests.

Its leaves form elongated tapered tips and are medium to dark green with sporadic patches of yellow-green forming along the tops and undersides.

  • Common Name: Star Sansevieria
  • Average Price: $50-70
  • Average Size: 1-1.5 feet tall
  • Key Features: Even, palm-tree like draping; variegated green and yellow patches

That’s a Wrap!

To sum up, these scarce snake plant varieties come in short, stubby form and grow to be no bigger than your average windowsill succulent or reach heights and statement appeal that make them perfect eye-candy for office or bedroom corners.

Some have rounded, tubular foliage while others have flat rapier forms with color variations as sharp as the tips!

Whether you prefer classic glossy green or decorative marbled leaves in your houseplant collection, the above rare finds have a style to suit every taste and (almost) every budget.

Image credit: Green Zense, Teacher’s Pots