How to Identify Tiger & Zebra Plants


Tiger and zebra plants are tropical Latin American plants with exceptionally distinguishable features. Their beautiful flowers and leaves are eye catching. The tiger plant originated in Mexico, and the zebra plant originated in Brazil. If you live in a less than tropical climate but want to grow either plant, both varieties thrive in greenhouses or as indoor plants so long as they grow in moist, well-drained soil. The tiger likes full sun exposure; the zebra prefers bright, indirect light. Identify these plants by their striking appearance.

Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa)

Step 1

Look at the color of the leaves. The leaves of the zebra plant are dark green with striking yellow stripes at the vein points.

Step 2

Look at the shape of the leaves. The zebra plant’s leaves are large and rounded and come to a point at the end.

Step 3

Look at the plant’s flowers. The zebra plant produces vivid yellow flowers with elongated petals.

Step 4

Evaluate the environment. Zebra plants require a climate between 60 and 85 degrees with high humidity.

Tiger Plant (Tigridia phiippiana)

Step 1

Look at the leaves. The tiger plant has long, thin leaves that are bright green in color.

Step 2

Look at the flower. A tiger plant produces flowers that are brightly colored with contrasting spots and lines. Typically the flowers last for only one day.

Step 3

Look at the roots. Tiger plants are bulb flowers, so you will find the bulbs just under the soil.


  • Plant Care: Zebra Plant
  • BBC Plant Finder: Tiger Flower
  • Bulb Society: Tigridia
Keywords: identify zebra plant, identify tiger flower, plant identification technique

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Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.