Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Dracaena cinnabari

Dracaena cinnabari, also known as the dragon‘s blood tree, is a Tertiary relict species that is the flagship endemic of Yemen’s Socotra (Soqotra) Island, in the Indian Ocean.

This evergreen species is named after its dark red resin, which is known as "dragon's blood".

The Dracaena species are characterized by crowns with well-separated rosettes directed upward that allow the captured and redirected water to be intercepted by leaves and transported into the succulent bodies of the tree for storage and future use.

Dracaena also have the ability to bypass axial water flow by lateral transport in the case of stem wounding. The vascular bundles of Dracaena species can create a three-dimensional network interconnected by pits and embedded in ground tissues, which gives them the ability to conduct water in any direction.

The local inhabitants of the city in the Socotra Island use the dragon's blood resin as a cure all. They use it in general wound healing, as a coagulant, cure for diarrhea, for dysentery diseases, for lowering fevers. It is also taken for ulcers in the mouth, throat, intestines and stomach.

Dragon’s blood tree resin was a highly prized product of the ancient world, and Roman traders were aware of the dragon’s blood trees growing on Socotra. Periplus mentioned that “The island yields no fruit, neither vine nor grain, and there is also produced on this island cinnabar (dragon’s blood tree resin), which is collected in drops from the trees”.
Dracaena cinnabari
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