T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Dracaena draco (Canary Islands dragon tree)

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Dracaena
Species: D. draco
Binomial name: Dracaena draco
Synonym: Asparagus draco, Draco draco, Drakaina draco, Palma draco, Stoerkia draco, Yucca draco,
Common name: Canary Islands dragon tree, Dragon tree, Dracaena draco, Drago

Dracaena draco is a subtropical, woody, evergreen, slow growing tree monocot that is native to the Canary, Cape Verde, Madeira and western Morocco.
Dracaena draco can grow to about 10-15 m in height and occasionally taller. The trunk is a silvery-grey and only branches after flowering which only occurs after intervals of about 10-15 years. Generally the tree has a large central trunk and only with age will develop a number of side branches subtending a hugely wide semiglobose umbrella-shaped canopy.
The silvery grey leaves are sessile (no stalk), linear-lanceolate and are about 90-110 cm long and 4 cm wide.
The inflorescence is spike which is produced within the leaves. The lily-like, sweetly perfumed flowers are numerous in groups of 4-5 and are a greenish-white or light yellow colour. Coral-red berries develop in clusters, they are globose and on the average 1-1.5 cm wide.
Since each new branch grows only after flowering which occurs only every 10–15 years, it is possible to determine the trees age by counting the number of branching points before reaching the canopy.
When the bark or leaves are cut they secrete a reddish resin, one of several sources of substances known as dragon's blood. Dragon's blood has a number of traditional medical uses.and this sap was the source of the stain used in Stradivarius violins.