Sansevieria Zeylanica widely known with the common name of Ceylon bowstring hemp or simply, bowstring hemp, is an evergreen perennial species of the Sansevieria plant. The plant is often confused with Sansevieria Trifasciata. It rarely blooms. When it does, the sansevieria produces pale green or greenish-white flowers, which are fragrant and the flowering stems grow over 2’ feet long.
Sansevieria zeylanica is a stemless perennial flowering species characterized by its long, sword-shaped succulent leaves, which grow from a rhizomatous rootstock. The leaves are erect and rigid and grow up to 2.5’ feet tall and up to 1” inch wide. The dark-green leaves of bowstring hemp feature creamy-white wave-like horizontal stripes across their surface. They also have pointed tips. Bowstring hemp is easy-to-grow and displays a slow to moderate growth rate.
The bowstring hemp plant is mainly grown either as an indoor floor plant, due to its hardy nature and easy care, or, commercially, for its fiber. The fiber obtained from the leaves of Sansevieria zeylanica and Sansevieria trifasciata is widely used in tropical countries (where it is primarily cultivated for this purpose) to make mats, coarse cloth, cordage, sails, and paper pulp.