Sansevieria francisii


No synonyms are recorded for this name.


Sansevieria francisii is native to Kenya, where it inhabits, mainly, an area located in Tana River district.


Sansevieria francisii is a little herbaceous, perennial plant, that stands out for its growth form: the leaves are arranged spirally in compact rows of five, opening together at once in each group. It then keeps adding more rows until they either fall or send out stolons, or both. The stems reach 60 centimeters in height or more. The stiff, elongate, dark green leaves, along with the peculiar habit, make S. francisii an elegant plant, perfect to be grown in a big pot indoors, as a houseplant. The stems, however, are often bent, due to their heavy weight. Leaves are blade-shaped, up to 15 centimeters long, with a spinous tip, 5 millimeters long, an a shallow but distinct channel in their inner part. The inflorescence is called panicle. A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence, somewhere between a spike and a raceme (cluster), like a cluster with very short petioles, so that the flowers look very close to each other, more compact. Flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-white to brownish green.


Sansevieria francisii are not difficult to grow. Here below are our cultivation tips:

Put it in a bright spot: it also tolerates a direct exposure to sunlight. Its ideal substrate should be well-draining but also fertile: 3 parts of loam mixed with 1 of pomice will do good, for example. However, a standard mix for succulent will be okay as well. S. francisii can bear temperatures down to -2ºC, if its substrate is kept completely dry. However, we advice to put it indoors in Winter, or either shelter it if it’s placed outside. Water your S. francisii regularly, once a week, during the growing season, namely in Spring and Summer, and once a month in Autumn, until completely suspending waterings in Winter. Wait always for the soil to dry up before each irrigation. Repotting will be probably necessary every year, as S. francisii grow rather fast and forms numerous stolons, expanding horizontally in all directions. We suggest to choose narrow, deep pots, to control the horizontal development of the plant but, at the same time, leaving the good amount of space for the roots to develop. These plants do not need frequent fertilization, it is sufficient to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.


Sansevierias are usually propagated by cuttings or either, in the case of S. francisii, through the division of the numerous stolons formed by the bending stems. Remember that the leaf cuttings should be at least 10 centimeters long. Once taken off, plant them in moist sand. Roots will sprout from the cut edge of the leaf. In the case of the stolons, it’s sufficient to cut the bent stem that has put roots between the mother plant and the part with new roots.


The common name of S. francisii in English is “Snake plant”, probably for its elongated, heavy prostrate stems that easily put roots and help the plant to spread in any direction and survive in its arid native habitat. The creeping stems that put roots are called stolons and are also useful as a storage for water and nutrients, to overcome the dry periods of it natural habitat. The specific latin name of this plant, “Francisii”, honours a succulent collector named Francis K. Horwood.

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