Dracaena fragrans, also known as the corn plant, is a foliage plant that comes from tropical Africa. It is used as a hedge plant in its native region, but for most people it is a popular indoor plant. Although it blooms under the right conditions, it is primarily known for its shiny leaves that resemble leaves on a corn plant. Most people never see the flower because home or indoor conditions aren't often conducive to flowering.
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Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana"
Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana" is by far the most popular and most commonly seen variety. It has medium green leaves with a creamy yellow-green stripe down the middle. It is sold either as a small plant (about a 6-inch pot) with no stalk or a large plant (about 10-inch pot or bigger) with one or multiple stalks. They are a popular interior plant because of their tolerance for low light.
Other Popular Varieties
The straight species of Dracaena fragrans has green leaves with no striping. Dracaena fragrans "Warneckii" has smaller, stiffer leaves than Massangeana. Its leaves are green with white stripes. The Janet Craig variety has very deep green leaves that are slightly ribbed and tolerates lowlight conditions better than most dracaenas. All are sold with or without stalks; bigger plants are often sold with multiple stalks.
Lesser Known Varieties
Dracaena fragrans "Victoriae" has the opposite colouring of Massangeana but otherwise looks the same. It has yellow leaves with a green stripe down the middle. Lemon Lime is similar to Warneckii, having green and white stripes but with the addition of chartreuse leaf edges. Riki has narrow green leaves with a yellow stripe, and Kanzi looks very similar to Lemon Lime, having green, white and chartreuse stripes.
NASA Clean Air Study
Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana" has been used by NASA as part of the NASA Clean Air Study, in which it was found to remove formaldehyde from the environment. The study, conducted with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, found that certain plants did better at filtering certain chemicals and that Massangeana and Warneckii were among the plants that were better at filtering out formaldehyde.
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