With its chubby, rounded, flipper of a leaf, the whale fin dracaena (Dracaena masoniana) is a cute complement to the tall, sword-like leaves of the snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Dracaena trifasciata) you might already have!
Native to dry, stony soils in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the whale fin dracaena usually sports the scale-like, dark green mottling that gives snake plants their name.
The natural foliage patterning can be seen on the Gardens’ whale fin dracaenas in the Sun Pavilion and The Canyon, shown above, but we’re also enchanted by this unique, cream-striped, variegated form that we found in a specialty nursery (seen below).
An uncommon find, look for them online or in specialty nurseries and houseplant shops. Alternatively, ask another owner for a leaf or stem cutting. Let the cut end heal, then prop it in water or wet gravel, and check for roots in 1 to 2 weeks before potting in soil. If you prefer the single-leaf look, chop and propagate your plant as it grows and share these beauties with others!
swiss cheese plant, swiss cheese vine
Climber or ground cover
1 metre in height and 0.5 metres in spread (as a houseplant)
2 to 4 metres in height (in nature)
|Water||Let soil surface dry between periods of watering (ensure planter has drainage holes)|
Pale yellow spadix enveloped by white to cream-coloured spathes. Rarely flowers as a house plant.
All parts of plant contain calcium oxalate crystal – toxic when ingested. Poisonous to cats and dogs.
Written by: Agatha Koh, Manager (Education, Programming & Events)
Agatha has spent the last ten years in a green paradise of every kind – greenhouses, orchards, food forests, therapeutic gardens, nature parks. Her days at the Gardens continue to be happily plant-filled as she shares her love for plants with fellow green thumbs and floral fanatics!