Weird & Unusual: Dragon’s Blood Tree


Dracaena cinnabari (Dragon Blood Tree)

Photo Credit: Flickr, sullafelix

Happy October, the month of Halloween and all things spooky! Let’s start the month off with an unusual plant with an unusual, slightly eerie name: the Dragon’s Blood Tree.

The Dragon’s Blood Tree (dracaena cinnabari) is an evergreen tree native to Socotra Island, a remote island located in the Indian Ocean, with an unusual appearance that looks like a giant mushroom or upside umbrella. It is a flowering plant. In February, small, fragrant white or greenish flowers will bloom at the ends of the branches. After which, the tree will produce orange berries, which takes about 5 months to develop. Trees can reach up to 10m (33ft) tall!

It’s called Dragon’s Blood Tree because it bleeds a dark red resin (sap) from the branches and trunk. The resin is considered a valuable substance and even thought to contain magical properties, as they were reportedly used in spells and rituals. Since the ancient times, Greeks and Romans have used “Dragon’s Blood” for medicinal purposes, to treat respiratory and gastrointestinal issues. Today, it is used as a varnish for violins, as medicine, for incense and dyes. The resin is thought to possess anti-inflammatory properties to fight infection and inflammation.

Though, Socotra Island’s climate is harsh, hot and dry, Dragon’s Blood Tree can live up to 300 years! It is the bizarre shape of the crown that helps the seedlings survive its harsh environment, by providing shade and reducing evaporation when water is transported from the leaves down to the branches, trunk and roots.

The tree’s shape allows it to transport the water from the leaves down the branches and trunk to the roots – See more at: http://www.leaflimb.com/blog/interesting-facts/dragon-blood-tree/#sthash.LAZlM0xk.dpuf
Dracaena Cinnabari (Dragon's Blood Tree)

Photo Credit: Flickr, Stephan Geens

These trees are truly fascinating! It’s no wonder that tourism to the Island have been increasing. But sadly, Dragon’s Blood Tree is considered endangered. Efforts are being made to help conserve the remaining trees. Urbanization, overgrazing and climate changes are some of the possible causes of the decline in population.

Other weird plants:

 

About Connor Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
This entry was posted in Weird and Wacky and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Weird & Unusual: Dragon’s Blood Tree

  1. Pingback: My 3 Words #35 | emilykarn

  2. ayatannur says:

    wow…amazing! I hope this tree gets out of the endangered list with everyone’s efforts..

    Like

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