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Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum' – a variegated cultivar
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Chlorophytum
Ker Gawl.[1]
Type species
Chlorophytum inornatum
  • Hartwegia Nees
  • Hollia Heynh.
  • Schidospermum Griseb. in W.Lechler
  • Asphodelopsis Steud. ex Baker
  • Acrospira Welw. ex Baker
  • Dasystachys Baker 1878, illegitimate homonym, not Oerst. 1859
  • Debesia Kuntze
  • Verdickia De Wild.

Chlorophytum (/ˌklɒrəˈftəm, ˌklɔː-, -r-/,[3][4] common name spider plant), is a genus of almost 200 species of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the century plant subfamily within the asparagus family.[5] The plants are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Australia, and Asia.[2][6][7][8]

They grow to 10–60 cm tall, with a rosette of long, slender leaves 15–75 cm long and 0.5–2 cm broad and thick, fleshy tuberous roots. The flowers are small, usually white, produced on sparse panicles up to 120 cm long; in some species the plants also reproduce vegetatively by means of plantlets, tiny plants that take root on touching the ground.[3]

Chlorophytum comosum, the common Spider Plant, a native of South Africa, is a very popular houseplant especially in its variegated form 'Vittatum'. It is commonly grown in hanging pots suspended by ropes or wires in bright sunlight.[3]

Chlorophytum borivilianum is a native of India and it is used and grown as a medicinal plant.

Species, subspecies, and varieties[edit]

The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families recognized 191 species as of January 2013:[2]


  1. ^ Ker Gawler, John Bellenden 1807. Botanical Magazine 27: plate 1071 + 2 subsequent text pages description in Latin, commentary in English; full-page color illustration of Chlorophytum inornatum
  2. ^ a b c Search for "Chlorophytum", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-01-07
  3. ^ a b c Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  4. ^ "Chlorophytum". Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  5. ^ Stevens, P.F. (2001–2012), Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Agavoideae
  6. ^ Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 205 吊兰属 diao lan shu Chlorophytum Ker Gawler, Bot. Mag. 27: t. 1071. 1807.
  7. ^ South African National Biodiversity Institute, Red List of South African Plants, search for Chlorophytum
  8. ^ Atlas of Living Australia, Chlorophytum

External links[edit]