Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol CymruNational Botanic Garden of WalesNational Botanic Garden of Wales

Dragon Tree

Dracaena draco

Large white flowering spikes at the top of the 'tree'

The red sap of the dragon tree was used by the Guanches, the original natives of the Canary Islands, to mummify their dead before interring them in caves.

As this unusual substance was thought to contain various medicinal & magical properties, it became a major export to Europe & Africa medicinal markets.

Want to know more?

  • Today the dragon’s blood is still used to produce a hard, shiny furniture polish. Legend has it that it was one of the secret ingredients of the varnish used by Stradivarius to give a special tone to his violins
  • The red pigment was also used as a cosmetic
  • It was a constituent of the complex medieval medicinal mixtures that were said to balance the four humours that were believed to make up the human constitution
  • Our dragon trees took over 10 years to produce their first fragrant flowers
  • If you’;d like to grow Dracaena varieties indoors, here’s a useful link.