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Popular Indoor Plants that are Originally from Africa

It's common for us to feel enthusiastic about importing the latest plants in line with international trends. However, what we may not realize is that many of these indoor plants are actually derived from African plants that have been cultivated for centuries.

The ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant, also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a tropical plant native to the eastern coast of Africa, specifically Zanzibar, Tanzania, and Kenya. It belongs to the family Araceae and is known for its attractive, glossy green leaves and ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

The ZZ plant was first discovered in the late 1800s by a German plant collector named Gustav Wallis. Wallis was traveling in East Africa when he stumbled upon the plant growing in the understory of a forest. He collected samples of the plant and brought them back to Germany, where they were studied and propagated.

Today, the ZZ plant is widely cultivated and sold in nurseries and garden centers around the world, with many new cultivars and hybrids being developed each year.

The Snake Plant

The snake plant, also known as Sansevieria or mother-in-law's tongue, is native to West Africa, specifically countries such as Nigeria, Congo, and Cameroon. It is a member of the Asparagaceae family and has been cultivated as a houseplant for centuries due to its unique appearance and air-purifying properties.

The snake plant was first introduced to Europe in the 17th century and quickly gained popularity as a houseplant due to its hardiness and low maintenance requirements. Since then, it has become a beloved plant worldwide and has been hybridized to produce a wide range of cultivars with different leaf shapes, sizes, and colors.


Haworthia is a genus of succulent plants that belongs to the Asphodelaceae family, which is native to southern Africa. The genus was named after Adrian Hardy Haworth, an English botanist who first described it in 1809.

Haworthia species are found in a variety of habitats in South Africa, including deserts, rocky hillsides, and grasslands. They are often found growing in shallow soils with good drainage, and some species can even survive in rocky crevices or on cliffs. Today, there are over 70 recognized species of Haworthia, as well as many hybrids and cultivars that have been developed for their ornamental value.

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