The 2ft California kingsnake was discovered on Friday in the warm palm house at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the west end of the city.
Staff called the SSPCA, which rescued the non-poisonous snake and took it to the charity's rehoming centre in Cardonald.
Carers at the charity have named him Dermot and are trying to trace his owner.
SSPCA assistant manager Katrina Cavanagh said: "Snakes need heat to survive so it's not surprising Dermot was keeping warm inside the palm house.
"We can't be sure how he got there but it's possible someone abandoned him, thinking it was a suitable environment. If this was the case it was very irresponsible as well as an offence.
"Snakes are really good escape artists though so there's also a chance Dermot has gone missing from his home nearby and was drawn towards the heat."
If the snake's owner cannot be found, the SSPCA will look to find a new home for Dermot.
Ms Cavanagh added: "We're asking anyone who recognises Dermot and knows who might have owned him to contact us so we can try to establish how he came to be there.
"If no-one comes forward for Dermot we'll find him a knowledgeable new home where his needs will be met for the rest of his life."
Anyone who recognises the snake can contact the charity on 03000 999 999.