(Sansevieria senegambica, 2 of the triplet flower stalks)
(Sansevieria senegambica, the 3rd flower stalk)
(See those little dots of sap on & at the bases of the flowers? That stuff is so sticky, the military should consider developing a glue out of it.)
I’m a Momma-to-Be of Triplets!
New Year’s Day, I walked into my reading den to get comfy in my rocking chair & read a nice long chapter of Susan Burke’s ‘Semiosis,’ a science fiction novel about self-serving sentient plants on Planet Pax. I turned around & walked right back out again. The perfume wafting thru the air had hit me like a ton of bricks. Or maybe like a stampeding elephant. Some Sansevieria species have very little smell when they flower, some have a rather unpleasant smell not unlike cow poop, & some have a heavy perfume smell as if the room had just taken a bath in Chanel No. 5. Frankly, I’m not sure which is worse. Cow poop or heavy duty Chanel No. 5.
I waded back in through the fragrance with my camera because I had to find out who was spreading Chanel No. 5, giving me New Year’s babies, & take some pics.
Sans species generally spread by rhizome, not flower. They don’t flower often. When they do, the plant often figures, OK, I’ve done my job, that’s all I needed to achieve. These leaves on these three plants will not shrivel & die, but these three individual plants will no longer grow, the leaves will get no larger, the individual plants will add no additional leaves. But the Mother Rhizome underground will still send up new plants.
S. senegambica is native to the tropics of west Africa. The name gives away the identities of the specific countries — Senegal & The Gambia. I leave them outdoors spring, summer, & fall & they receive the natural daylight hours. However, when I bring them inside for the winter, I give them sun via grow lights 12 hours of the day, & water them more than most other Sansevieria species. When they flower for me, it’s always in winter, so possibly the 12 hours of constant light is what they want for flowering. Unfortunately, most of the seeds I get are not fertile because I don’t do any artificial pollination.
One of the more prominent studies done on S. senegambica was done by botanical medical researchers Jude C. Ikewuchi & Catherine C. Ikewuchi. Below are some extracts from their published article entitled ‘Hypoglycemic, Hypocholesterolemic and Ocular-protective Effects of an Aqueous Extract of the Rhizomes of Sansevieria senegambica Baker (Agavaceae) on Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Wistar Rats’ in the ‘American Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2: 48-66.’ :
In this study, the effects of an aqueous extract of the rhizomes of Sansevieria senegambica on the haematology, plasma biochemistry and ocular indices of oxidative stress were investigated in alloxan induced diabetic rats.
. . . . . .
Besides confirming the presence of pharmacologically active compounds in the rhizome extract, this study also showed the hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, anti-anemic, immune-modulating, ocular-, hepato-renal and cardio-protective potentials of the extract. All these, support the use of the rhizomes of Sansevieria senegambica in African traditional health care practices for the management of diabetes mellitus.
I can’t wait for the flowers to open, to bloom. Not that they’ll be particularly showy & beautiful, but the perfume factory will shut down & I can have my reading den back for reading.