by Stephen Mifsud
   12 Jun 2024      ()
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Chlorophytum comosum   (Spider Plant)

Chlorophytum comosum  (ASPARAGACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: Aug-2021)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Chlorophytum comosum - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 12-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Chlorophytum comosum(Thunb.) Jacques
Published in J. Soc. Imp. Centr. Hort. 8: 345 (1862)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Anthericum comosum Thumb.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Asparagaceae Juss. (=Liliaceae) (The Asparagus Family)
33 species from the Asparagaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Spider Plant, Spider Ivy, Ribbon Plant

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Cultivated species. Introduced plants cultivated for agricultural or horticultural purposes but sometimes can be occassionaly found as an escapee close to the site of their original cultivation.

Frequency :

Data not available - casual or short-lived in the wild from accidental garden or agriculture escape

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

June – September

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Cannot be planted in the wild (rural areas) since the species may be invasive (see ERA guidelines)

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Ornamental plant cultivated in gardens of old houses and farmhouses, sometimes dumped in rural areas where ocassionally it naturalises in suitable habitats, somewhat preferring shaded, damp locations.
Botanical Description: Plants up to 80 cm high. Roots long, many, swollen near the tips. Rhizome small, vertical. Leaves variable, 10-30 cm long, 1-2 cm broad, tapering at the base and apex, soft, usually flat, arranged in a loose rosette. Inflorescence much longer than the leaves, a simple long, lax raceme, sometimes with 1-2 basal ascending branches; often the apical flowers suppressed and the bracts enlarged to form a leafy tuft; scape long, terete, bracteate; sterile bracts narrow lanceolate, 2-4 cm long, acuminate, fertile small, deltoid, subulate; pedicels thin, up to 8 mm in fruit, articulated near the middle. Flowers in small, spiral, bracteate, axillary fascicles, 1-6 nate; perianth with narrow segments, 1 cm long, sometimes reflexed; filaments glabrous, slightly swollen above the middle, shrinking unevenly when dry; ovary with ca. 6 ovules per cell. Capsule globose in outline, emarginate, 5 mm in length. Seeds typical, slightly convex on one side. Flowering Period: During the summer months.
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[aAz(F L S T) aCa(C P T) aGe aHs(S) nIt Md(M) aSa aTn]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (9 images)
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-0.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-1.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-2.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-3.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-4.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-5.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-6.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-7.
   Chlorophytum comosum   -   Image Code: CLPCO-8.

Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

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Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the nomenclature section above). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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