Family • Dracaenaceae - Sansevieria cylindrica Bojer - SPEAR PLANT

Scientific names

Sansevieria cylindrica Bojer ex Hook.
Acyntha cylindrica (Bojer ex Hook.) Kuntze
Cordyline cylindrica (Bojer ex Hook.) Britton
Sansevieria angolensis Welw. ex Carriere
Sansevieria cylindrica Bojer ex Hook.

Common names

Espada (Tag.)
Bow string hemp (Engl.)
Cylindrical snake plant (Engl.)
Spear plant (Engl.)
Spear sansevieria (Engl.)
Snake plant (Engl.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) A new bioactive steroidal saponin from Sansevieria cylindrica / Alexandra da Silva Antunes et al / Phytotherapy Research.Volume 17, Issue 2 , Pages 179 – 182

(2) Sansevieria cylindrica Bojer ex Hook. is an accepted name / The Plant List

Espada is a cylindrical, succulent perennial herb. Leaves are are green, swordlike, cylindrical and rigid, furrowed or grooved along its entire length, with pointed tips, sometimes with a dark green striped pattern, growing to a height of 2 feet or more, up to about 3 centimeters thick. Flowers are very small, white, fragrant, and crowded in small inflorescences (cymes), greenish or tinged with red, blooming once a year.


– Recently introduced to the Philippines.
– Planted as an ornamental.
– Native to Nepal and South Africa.

– Microstructural analysis of leaves of S. cylindrica showed the presence of structural fibers and arch fibres.

– Study of Sanseveria cylindrica showed the flexural modulus of Sanseveria cylindrica fiber composite is much higher than those of jute or silk fiber composites.
– Considered diuretic, laxative, anthelmintic, antirheumatic.

– No known folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.


Study Findings
• Steroidal Saponin / Inhibition of Capillary Permeability:Study yielded a new steroidal saponin from the leaves of Sansevieria cylindrica. The saponin showed no haemolytic effects in the in vitro assays and demonstrated inhibition of the capillary permeability activity.
• Air Cleaning Plant: Sanseveria species are believed to have air purifying properties, removing indoor toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, toluene.
• Natural Fiber / Potential Commercial Applications: Study evaluated the tensile, flexural and dielectric properties of composites made by reinforcing Sanseveria cylindrica as a new natural fiber into a rubber based polyester matrix. Results showed Sanseveria cylindrica with a unique dielectric strength with potential for electrical insulation applications, in addition to fabrication of lightweight materials in automobile building, packaging industry, partition panes, etc.
• Hybrid Fibers: Study reports on use of hybrid fibers such as Sanseveria cylindrica and tamarind fruit fibers to reinforce the epoxy matrix on mechanical and thermal properties. Epoxy filled with Tf and Sc showed remarkable improved in flexural strength and modulus. Hybrid reinforcement of filler in polymer shows significant improvement in dielectric strength of composites.

Ornamental cultivation.