Dracaena draco, Dragon Tree

Dracaena draco

Dragon Tree
Family: Asparagaceae    (Formerly:Dracaenaceae / Liliaceae / Agavaceae)
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Origin: Canary Islands
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunDry conditionsModerate waterWhite, off-white flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

The dark red sap of Dracaena draco was regarded for centuries in European legends as "the blood of dragons", and was often used for its supposed magical and medicinal qualities. This resin is still used today to produce incense and varnishes used to stain and polish wood.

The grey - green foliage, strong silver-smooth trunk, distinct creamy-white flowers in spikes, and the bright orange berries visually stand this tree apart from all others.

Dracaena draco does not display annual rings and age can only be estimated by the number of branch forking occurrences (indicating the number of flowering episodes) and measuring the frequency of flowering (less than annual). Some specimens are believed to be up to 650 years old; the oldest is growing at Icod de los Vinos in northwest Tenerife.

Not to be confused with Dracaena cinnabari, the Dragon Blood Tree native to Socotra.

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