The leaves of this houseplant are thick and leathery. The plant gets its name from the obvious cross-banding. Some cultures call it "mother-in-law tongue" because of the sharp ends. Not very complimentary. Other cultures call it Sword of St. George because of the leaves' blade-like shape. I find it an interesting plant, hardy and desirable indoors because it removes toxins from the air. This plant should be watered sparingly. Ooops, I hope I have not over-watered it!