African Spear Plant – Sansevieria Cylindrica (Updated 2023)

As a plant enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the diverse world of succulents, but one particular plant has truly captured my heart: the African Spear Plant (Sansevieria Cylindrica). Also known as the cylindrical snake plant or spear Sansevieria, this unique succulent is a perfect addition to any home or office space. In this article, I will delve into the captivating features, care tips, and interesting facts about the African Spear Plant, an evergreen perennial native to Angola.

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Quick Facts and Unique Traits

The African Spear Plant, scientifically known as Sansevieria Cylindrica (Dracaena Angolensis), belongs to the Dracaenaceae family. It boasts striking round-shaped leaves that grow in a basal rosette pattern, creating an eye-catching display. With a maximum height of up to 7 feet and a diameter of 1.2 inches, these subcylindrical leaves exhibit a distinctive appearance among the Sansevieria species.

One of the plant’s unique features is its ability to adapt to various lighting conditions. While it thrives in direct, bright light, it can also tolerate partial shade. However, intense light may cause the edges of the leaves to yellow, so finding the right balance is essential for its well-being.

Growing Conditions and Care African Spear Plant

Caring for the African Spear Plant is relatively easy, making it an ideal choice for both seasoned plant enthusiasts and beginners. To ensure its longevity and health, follow these guidelines:

  1. Light: Provide your African Spear Plant with plenty of direct sunlight, especially when placed indoors. Bright, north-facing windows or filtered light outdoors are ideal locations. Avoid exposing the plant to extremely intense light.
  2. Soil: The African Spear Plant prefers fast-draining soil with excellent drainage properties. Opt for a potting mix specially formulated for succulents to promote healthy growth.
  3. Watering: This succulent can withstand drought and prefers to dry out between waterings. During the growing season (spring to fall), water the plant moderately, allowing the soil to dry out before the next watering. Reduce watering frequency in the winter months.
  4. Temperature: Maintain a temperature range between 50 and 85 °F (10-29 °C) to mimic its natural tropical habitat. Protect the plant from temperatures below 50 °F, as it is not cold-tolerant.
  5. Fertilizer: During the active growing season, provide a diluted succulent fertilizer monthly. Avoid fertilization during the winter to allow the plant to rest.
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Propagation and Toxicity

Propagation of the African Spear Plant can be accomplished through rhizomes or leaf cuttings. These methods allow you to grow new plants from existing ones, expanding your collection or sharing the joy of this captivating succulent with others.

While the African Spear Plant is undoubtedly a resilient houseplant, it is essential to note that it is toxic to both pets and children if ingested. Keep it out of reach and consider its placement carefully, especially if you have curious pets or young children.

Fascinating Facts and Varieties

The African Spear Plant has a rich history, having been first described by the Czech naturalist Wenceslas Bojer in 1837. Interestingly, this plant was previously classified as Sansevieria Cylindrica but has been reclassified as Dracaena Angolensis.

Several exciting varieties of the African Spear Plant exist, each with its own unique characteristics:

  1. Sansevieria Cylindrica ‘Spaghetti’: This variety features slender, thin leaves, adding elegance to its appearance.
  2. Sansevieria Cylindrica ‘Skyline’: With large, erect leaves, this variety stands out as a bold statement piece.
  3. Sansevieria Cylindrica ‘Patula’: Known for its outward-growing leaves that bend down, this variety offers a distinctive look.

Sansevieria Cylindrica vs Starfish

The primary distinction between the Cylindrical Snake Plant and the Starfish Sansevieria lies in their size and growth pattern, as the Starfish Sansevieria is characterized by its fan-shaped arrangement and short, fat, pointed cylindrical leaves, making it a compact cultivar.


In conclusion, the African Spear Plant (Sansevieria Cylindrica) is an outstanding choice for anyone seeking a low-maintenance, visually appealing houseplant. Its distinct round-shaped leaves, resilience to harsh conditions, and ease of care make it a perfect addition to any indoor or outdoor space. Remember to provide adequate light, well-draining soil, and moderate watering to keep your African Spear Plant happy and healthy. Just ensure to keep it out of reach of pets and children due to its mild toxicity. Embrace the beauty and charm of the African Spear Plant, and it will reward you with its timeless allure and positive energy. Happy gardening!

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