ZZ Nova Star vs ZZ Raven: 8 Differences You Need to Know

Houseplants with dark leaves seem to be very trendy. This is why collectors always want to add a dark splash of green to their home gardens. The ZZ Nova Star and ZZ Raven are currently two examples of the trendiest houseplants.

However, telling these two apart is difficult for many collectors. ZZ Nova Star and ZZ Raven have attractive dark foliage. 

You will understand their major differences in this ZZ Nova star vs. Raven comparison. We will focus on their differences and their unique features. So stay tuned for more insight.

ZZ Nova Star vs. ZZ Raven
The main differences between ZZ Nova Star and Raven are their natural habitat, juvenile leaf color, mature leaf color, leaf shape, leaf texture, light needs, availability, and price. Both mature plants have dark leaves, but the ZZ raven reflects a bit of a burgundy cast, while the ZZ nova star has a purple cast.

What is ZZ Nova Star?

The botanical name of this plant is Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Nova Star. This plant originated in the tropical regions of eastern Africa. It is commonly known as the ZZ nova star.

It is a beautiful houseplant known for being very hardy. The Nova Star is one of the easiest plants to care for. So, it works best for newbies, busy people, or forgetful growers.

One of the reasons this plant is so popular is its dark foliage with a purplish cast. The leaves are so dark that they might appear black. The best hardiness zones for growing this plant outdoors are 11 and 12.

However, it adapts very well to almost all climates. Despite being low-maintenance, the Nova Star plant is notorious for being difficult to kill.

Your ZZ nova star would gladly tolerate infrequent watering. It can also grow under poor lighting conditions. However, the only things that can fatally affect your nova star are overwatering and frequent exposure to direct sun.

Remember that the ZZ Nova Star plant is a moderate feeder. It should be fertilized at most twice a year, ideally once every six months.

What is ZZ Raven?

The scientific name for Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven, also known as ZZ Raven, ZZ Dowon Raven, or Black Raven, is Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven. It resembles the ZZ nova pretty much, especially in the foliage color.

However, its dark leaves tend to have a reddish cast. At the juvenile stage, its leaves are not that dark. They are ZZ Raven is a patent plant. It also has been around for a while. It was only discovered in 2015. Additionally, the ZZ raven got into the commercial scene only in 2019.

Its leaves are the main reason why people want this interesting plant. The mature leaves are dark with a burgundy cast. They are also pretty glossy, smooth, and shiny.

ZZ Raven is one of these plants that can instantly steal the viewer’s heart and attention. But these leaves do not start as gorgeous. Freshly unfurled leaves have a lighter green shade.

Throughout their life cycles, the leaves become darker until they end up almost black.

What are the Differences between ZZ Nova Star and ZZ Raven?

ZZ Nova and ZZ Raven are almost identical plants that untrained eyes can easily mix up. However, some slight differences make the identification a bit easier. The significant difference lies in the foliage color. Also, the original home of both plants is different.

1. Natural habitat

Both plants are similar in their physical appearances, but their original natural habitats differ. The ZZ nova star originates from East Africa. So it is commonly found in Kenya and Uganda.

You can also find it in the jungles of South Africa. ZZ raven, on the other hand, was originally found in the tropical wilderness of Asia.

2. Juvenile leaf color

The leaf color at earlier stages is a defining sign in recognizing ZZ nova and ZZ Raven. As younger plants, both have green leaves. But the colors of the ZZ nova star are darker than those of the ZZ raven.

3. Mature leaf color

As both plants mature, they both develop dark leaves. However, these grown leaves show a slight difference in their color. The leaves of ZZ Nova are dark with a purplish shade.

On the other hand, the leaves of the ZZ raven are dark as well, but they have a burgundy cast. The leaves of the ZZ raven are much darker than those of the ZZ nova.

4. Leaf shape

The leaves of these plants have the same slim oval appearance. However, the tips of the ZZ nova star leaves are pointier.

5. Leaf texture

Another way to distinguish ZZ Nova Star and ZZ Raven is their leaf texture. The leaves of the ZZ raven are thicker and waxier. They are also glossier and shiner.

6. Light needs

Both plants adapt well to low levels of natural light. However, it is better if the ZZ Raven gets medium-intensity indirect sunlight.

Keeping it in the shade for an extended period will result in leggy stems. Poor light won’t be a problem for the ZZ Nova Star, but you can expose it to filtered sunlight if you have the chance.

7. Availability

Getting your hands on ZZ Nova or ZZ Raven plants is easy. However, the ZZ Raven is slightly more uncommon than the ZZ Nova.

You can get the ZZ nova star cuttings from anyone. However, only one grower can legally distribute the ZZ Raven in North America.

8. Price

While both plants are not considered cheap, the ZZ Raven costs much more than the ZZ Nova Star. This might be due to the patent right, which makes the patent company the only source to get this plant.

It is illegal for anyone else to propagate or sell this plant.

ZZ Nova Star vs. ZZ Raven: are they the same?

No, ZZ Nova Star and ZZ Raven are not the same. However, they can be perceived as almost identical. Both of them have attractive and unique dark leaves.

They also grow upright due to their thick stems. Additionally, they can tolerate poor lighting and a lack of water.

However, you can tell them apart by the color of their younger versions. A juvenile ZZ nova star has darker green leaves.

The foliage of a mature ZZ Raven is much darker (almost black). The ZZ raven has waxier and thicker leaves, whereas the ZZ nova star has pointier leaf edges.

Both plants share the same growing conditions. Your ZZ raven prefers medium-indirect light to avoid developing leggy stems.

The ZZ nova star is commonly found in tropical parts of East Africa, whereas the ZZ raven was initially discovered in Asia. Lastly, ZZ Nova Star is cheaper and more commonly sold. There are no patent rights concerning the ZZ Nova Star.

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