Dragon trees

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Dragon trees
Canarian Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco) in Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife

Canarian Dragon Tree ( Dracaena draco )
in Icod de los Vinos , Tenerife

Class : Bedecktsamer (Magnoliopsida)
Order : Asparagales (Asparagales)
Family : Asparagaceae (Asparagaceae)
Subfamily : Nolinoideae
Genre : Dragon trees
Scientific name
Vand. ex L.

The dragon trees ( Dracaena , of Greek  δράκαινα , the female dragon, Syn. : Pleomele . Salisb , Terminalis . Medik ) form a plant kind from the family of asparagus plants (Asparagaceae). The best known species is the Canarian dragon tree ( Dracaena draco ).


Dragon trees are not real trees because they have an atypical growth in thickness ; they are tree-shaped life forms that have a self-supporting woody trunk. The stems can be branched or unbranched. Due to the special fiber connection with atypical growth in thickness, the side branches can only branch off at a small angle to the main trunk (typically <35 °). The parallel- veined leaves are usually sword-shaped, linear to lanceolate, but in some species the leaf blade can also be elliptical. Only a few species have a short petiole, such as Dracaena elliptica .

Canarian dragon tree ( Dracaena draco ), fruits

The terminal, spiked inflorescence is usually branched. The hermaphrodite flowers are threefold, fragrant and bloom at night. The six uniform and mostly whitish colored bracts ( tepals ) are cylindrical, bell-shaped or fused tubular. The flower tube is short. There are six stamens . The three pistils have become a top permanent ovary grown. Orange to purple colored berries with one to three seeds are formed.

Systematics and distribution

In the genus of the dragon trees ( Dracaena ) about 50 to 150 species are distinguished (the number varies greatly according to different authors, by more than 60 species, but only if the species of the genus Sansevieria are also included). The genus has a very wide natural distribution in the tropics and subtropics . Most of the species have their home in the tropics of the Old World ( Palaeotropis ), i.e. Asia and Africa. There are two species on the Canary Islands ( Dracaena draco on Gran Canaria , La Palma and Tenerife and the extremely rare Dracaena tamaranae on Gran Canaria) and one species each in southwest Morocco ( Dracaena draco subsp. Ajgal ), in Central America ( Dracaena americana ) and in Cuba ( Dracaena cubensis ).

Dracaena aletriformis
Dracaena aurea in Hawaii on Kaua'i
Dracaena cinnabari on Socotra
Canarian Dragon Tree ( Dracaena draco ) in Icod de los Vinos on Tenerife
Dracaena fragrans in Hawaii on Maui
Illustration of Dracaena goldieana
Dracaena halaapepe
Dracaena kaweesakii
Dracaena mannii
Dracaena ombet in Ethiopia
Dracaena reflexa with fruits, on Réunion
Dracaena reflexa 'Song of India'
Dracaena rockii in Hawaii on Maui, Auwahi

In 2018, the species of the genus Sansevieria were added to Dracena by Byng and Christenhusz . So far, this subheading includes the following species:


  • Chen Xinqi, Nicholas J. Turland: Dracaena. In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven (Ed.): Flora of China . Volume 24: Flagellariaceae through Marantaceae . Science Press / Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing / St. Louis 2000, ISBN 0-915279-83-5 , pp. 215 (English). PDF file , online .
  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: The great pikeperch. Encyclopedia of Plant Names. Volume 2: Types and Varieties. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7 .

Individual evidence

  1. "Monocotyledon wood " using the example of Dracaena fragrans .
  2. a b c Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Dracaena. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  3. Jump up Paul Wilkin, Piyakaset Suksathan, Kaweesak Keeratikiat, Peter van Welzen, Justyna Wiland-Szymanska: A new species from Thailand and Burma, Dracaena kaweesakii Wilkin & Suksathan (Asparagaceae subfamily Nolinoideae). In: PhytoKeys. Volume 26, 2013, pp. 101-112, doi: 10.3897 / phytokeys.26.5335 .

Web links

Commons : Dragon Tree Species ( Dracaena )  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Dragon tree  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations