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Products > Sansevieria ballyi
Sansevieria ballyi - Dwarf Sansevieria

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asparagaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: Kenya (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pinkish White
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [S. Bally 12681, Dracaena ballyi]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Sansevieria ballyi (Dwarf Sansevieria) - A small succulent with gray colored stolons connecting rosettes of 4 inch long stiff and recurved nearly cylindrical leaves that are dark green with horizontal bands of lighter green and have a distinct grove on the upper surface that widens near the leaf base. It has inch long greenish white flowers in summer clustered near the tip of 6 inch long spikes. Plant in a bright light in a well drained soil. Can be grown as a crevice plant outdoors and seems to be able to cope with our winter rainfall, but probably best suited to container or in a hanging basket. Sansevieria ballyi is native to the Coastal Province of south Kenya where it is found growing in the shade at around the 300 foot elevation. The name for the genus was originally Sanseverinia as named by the Italian botanist Vincenzo Petagna in honor of his patron, Pietro Antonio Sanseverino, the Count of Chiaromonte (1724-1771), but the name was altered for unknown reasons by the Swedish naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg, possibly influenced by the name of Raimondo di Sangro (1710–1771), prince of San Severo in Italy. We originally received this plant as Sansevieria Bally 12681 and it has long been in cultivation so named, but was officially described by Len Newton in 2004 to honor the Swiss botanist Dr. Dr Peter René Oscar Bally (1895– 1980). Bally was a chemist and self-taught taxonomic botanist and botanical illustrator who worked and resided in Tanzania before moving to Kenya in the 1930s to become the botanist at the Coryndon Museum in Nairobi. He traveled widely and was the leading authority of his time on succulent plants of east and northeast Africa. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Basel in 1973. Bally first collected this Sansevieria in 1963 at Kivuko Hill in southeast Kenya on a rocky ridge on a private ranch in Taita District, where it reportedly remains plentiful to this day. Sansevieria have long been placed in the Agavaceae, later in the Dracaenaceae and by some in the Ruscaceae family, but most recently has been placed in the subfamily Nolinoideae within the Asparagaceae family. Molecular phylogenetic studies have persuaded some to include Sansevieria in the genus Dracaena, which would make this plant's name Dracaena ballyi. Because of considerable disagreement over this change, the long standing use of its old name, and so not to cause our own and customer confusion, we continue to list this plant as a Sansevieria. We first received this plant from John Bleck in the 1980s and later from Sansevieria collector Alice Waidhofer. We also have in our collection a plant called 'Minnie' that also came from John Bleck and it is thought to be a small form of this species.  The information about Sansevieria ballyi displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.