Dracaena trifasciata (Syn. Sansevieria trifasciata) ‘Hahnii’ (Bird’s Nest Snake Plant)

Dracaena trifasciata (Syn. Sansevieria trifasciata) ‘Hahnii’ (Bird’s Nest Snake Plant) on 4-18-12, #87-11.

Bird’s Nest Snake Plant ‘Hahnii’

Dracaena trifasciata ‘Hahnii’

dra-SEE-nah  try-FASK-ee-AH-tuh  HAHN-ee-eye


Sansevieria trifasciata cv. hahnii

san-se-VEER-ee-tuh  try-FASK-ee-AH-tuh  HAHN-ee-eye

After so long as knowing this plant as a Sansevieria, due to testing, the genus name has changed…

Dracaena trifasciata (hort. x Prain) Mabb. is now the accepted scientific name for this species. It was named and described as such by David John Mabberley in Mabberley’s Plant Book in 2017. It was first named and described as Sansevieria trifasciata Prain by David Prain in Bengal Plants in 1903.

Sansevieria trifasciata cv. “Hahnii” was discovered by William W. Smith, Jr. in the Crescent Nursery Company in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1939. It was patented in 1941 by Sylvan Frank Hahn of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The genus, Sansevieria Thunb., was named and described as such by Carl Peter Thunberg in Prodromus Plantarum Capensium in 1794.

The genus, Dracaena Vand. ex L., was described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in Mantissa Plantarum in 1767. He gave credit to Domingo (Domingos, Domenico) Vandelli for first naming and describing the genus.

As of 11-15-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 201 species in the Dracaena genus. It is a member of the plant family Asparagaceae with 120 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


Dracaena trifasciata (Sansevieria trifasciata) ‘Hahnii’ on 8-12-12, #115-80. I had borrowed a friend’s camera when I took this photo and didn’t realize his brightness settings were goofed up.

I was given three pots of Dracaena trifasciata by my good friend and fellow plant collector, Walley Morse, of Greenville, Mississippi. I was living at the mansion in Leland at the time. He gave me a big pot of Dracaena trifasciata (Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, etc.) and two pots of the Sansevieria trifasciata cv. hahnii (Bird’s Nest Snake Plant). Of course, they were Sansevieria at the time. 🙂

Sansevieria trifasciata cv. hahnii on a shelf in the west sunroom at the mansion on 7-2-12, #105-14.

I divided one of the pots and left the other one as it was. The strange thing is that the pots were only about half full of soil. I didn’t understand that at the time but later I realized that could have been a good idea…

After I sold the mansion in Mississippi, dad asked me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri. So, in February 2013, I made the trip with many plants including the larger pots. I gave the four in the above photo away. I repotted the larger pots, adding more soil so the base of the plants would be closer to the top of the pot. ‘Hahnii’ didn’t like it and died not long after and I have not replaced it.

FAMILY: Asparagaceae
ORIGIN: The species is native to west-central Africa
ZONES: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30-40° F)
SIZE: Around 12” tall
LIGHT: Light Shade
SOIL: Well-drained
WATER: Water thoroughly when the soil is dry. DO NOT overwater and DO NOT allow the pot to sit in water.

Dracaena trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ is considered a ground cover where they are hardy outdoors that can spread rather fast by underground rhizomes.

Dracaena trifasciata does best in moderately bright or filtered light such as in front of a north-facing window. They tolerate low light, but brighter light will bring out the color of their leaves. Too much light can cause their leaf edges to yellow.

Their soil should be allowed to dry out completely before watering again. They need to be watered deeply and thoroughly but water remaining in the saucer should be discarded because their pots should never be allowed to sit in water for any period of time. They will not tolerate soggy soil and their roots will rot easily if the soil remains too wet for any period of time.

Dracaena trifasciata are light feeders and too much fertilizer will make their leaves fall over. There are several recommendations about fertilizing and a few of the links below will give you some ideas. I never fertilized mine and many people don’t.

They like a crowded root system. I read before that they are best grown in clay pots and should not be repotted until their roots break the pot…

Propagation by division and leaf cuttings is pretty simple. Cuttings should be about 4” (10 cm.) long and placed in moist sand. Umm… Be aware the offspring of variegated cultivars will lack the variegated margin if propagated by leaf cuttings.

The NASA Clean Air Study found Sansevieria trifasciata has air purification qualities, removing 4 of the 5 main toxins including carbon dioxide during the night.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. Not all the links below have the updated name.



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