ISSUE 67  |  Bring on the Spring

A House Plant You Can’t Kill: Mother in Law’s Tongue

April 12, 2013 3:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

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Your mother-in-law’s tongue belongs under the bathroom sink, and you can tell her designer Chad McPhail said so.

Or, for the sake of politesse, call it Sansevieria laurentii. This sturdy house plant, last seen gracing groovy interiors in the 1970s, has made a comeback, in the Williamsburg apartment of McPhail and singer-songwriter Ed Droste (of Grizzly Bear).

Above: “I saw it in a magazine, putting plants underneath the sink, because it’s an ugly area,” said McPhail of MR Architecture + Decor. If more incentive is necessary, consider this: Sansevieria laurentii has earned NASA’s seal of approval, as well, after a space agency study proved the hardy plant’s ability to filter such toxins as benzene and formaldehyde (not that there are dangerous levels in your bathroom) from the air. Image via Timeout New York.

Above: The plant thrives in shade or sun, and may even reward you with spikes of yellow blooms. But please don’t over-water it. Get a Mother in Law’s Tongue for $38.95 from Real Ornamentals or from your corner florist.

This is an update of a post originally published March 1, 2012.