Name: Sansevieria trifasciata aka snake plant.

Type of Plant: A you-probably-can’t-kill-it houseplant that is sculptural, upright and tolerant of a wide variety of locations and conditions.

Why I love this: Sansevieria, commonly called snake plant, is a striking house plant that can provide an upright, green element indoors. This plant fits right in with any décor from Victorian to modern. And best of all, snake plant is one of the “clean air” plants that filters indoor air pollutants from your home.

I have fond memories of seeing this plant in the windows of gas stations, shoe repair shops and small markets back in the day when those businesses tended to be owned by individuals and not chains. This was the plant that would live anywhere.

A Word to the Wise: It’s rare to find a houseplant that prefers inconsistent watering, but snake plant is one of those atypical plants. This plant does well in an eastern or western facing window and will even tolerate a northern exposure. In a room where the windows face south, place the plant back three or more feet from the window so that the Sansevieria gets bright light in the summer and direct sun only in the winter when the days are shorter.

Yes, this is a flowering plant but frankly, the blooms have that really sickly, overpoweringly sweet fragrance that most people can’t stand. The one time my mother’s plant flowered we hastened to cut those blooms off ASAP since they made everyone in the room gag!

If a Sansevieria trifasciata can look good in O'Hare Airport, imagine how it will thrive in your home!

If a Sansevieria trifasciata can look good in O’Hare Airport, imagine how it will thrive in your home!

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