A dragon in the garden? Having a fat and scaly trunk, leggy succulent branches that reach skyward to encourage an umbrella-like canopy of rosette-shaped foliage clusters, stiff blue-green leaves shaped like swords, and greenish-white blossoms which are later replaced with dripping strands of black and red berries, the dragon tree Dracaena draco has a look all its own.
Dragon trees are native to the Canary Islands of Spain; Cape Verde; Morocco; and Madeira, Portugal. Just a few hundred trees are left, although the dragon tree is located on five of the seven Canary Islands. New subpopulations were found in Morocco’s Anti-Atlas Mountains, in 1996 in North Africa, where thousands grow steep cliffs in gorges too.
They are drought tolerant, grow in both full sun and partial shade, can withstand salt spray, and can withstand extreme heat and cold temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 degrees Celsius). The tree’s clusters of leaves Zanzibar Gem that are extended accumulate dampness and rain in the atmosphere, to benefit from the water available in their habitat.
The dragon tree is well known for its thick, reddish resin, called”dragon’s blood” The tree got its name from one of Hercules’ adventures. Hercules was tasked with bringing back three golden apples in the garden of the Hesperides, safeguarded by a dragon as the tale goes. To find the apples, Hercules killed the dragon, spilling the animal’s blood throughout the land–and everywhere the dragon’s blood touched the soil, a”dragon tree” was said to sprout. The dragon tree’s trunk resembles a dragon leg, covered with ridges formed by leaf scars that are growth-produced additional year after year.
It seems to take to reach maturity while it may have taken a Herculean effort to slay that dragon. It takes about 8 to 10 years to get the slow-growing dragon tree to reach only 2-3 ft (.5 to 1 meter) of elevation, and 30 years for the tree to reach maturity. New leaves grow from the end of the branches of a dragon tree. And those limbs grow to make spreading pedestals.
Dragon trees, as with other Dracaena species, have a growth pattern known as habitus. Leaf growth and flowering occurs over periods of about a decade. The end result is the identifying crown, made by groups of that the dragon tree. Some growers estimate the age of the tree by taking a look at the branching pattern (estimating about 10 years for each 2 branches), but there is no exact way of determining a dragon tree’s age.
Dragon trees are falling in their first habitats that are wild, and the shrub is categorized as Vulnerable. Threats include loss of the habitat to farming and ranching. Changing climate which is drier than with intervals of mist and clouds, in previous years, is currently causing some dragon trees to prevent flourishing in their habitats. The tree is cultivated; and it is utilized in landscaping and though it’s slow growing.