#TreeTalkThursday - The Dragon’s Blood Tree

For this #TreeTalkThursday we decided to go exotic!

Dracaena cinnabari - the Dragon's Blood Tree. This tree can be found on the Socotra archipelago in the Arabian Sea. It is distinguished by its very iconic dense umbrella-like crown. The name comes from the dark red resin this species produces. The leaves are produced on the youngest branches and are shed every 3-4 years. It develops fruits that start out green to black to orange which are eaten by birds allowing for the seeds to be distributed.

The resin has been a cure-all since ancient times. Used as a coagulant, cure diarrhea, cure dysentery diseases, lower fevers, and help heal ulcers. The resin has also been used in dye, lipstick, pottery, and even varnish in the 18th Century. The roots have been use to help rheumatism, and the leaves can be used to combat gas.

Fun Fact: The Dragon's Blood Tree has its roots in mythology. When the Queen of the Gods, Juno, received 3 golden apples from her mother Gaia, she set the dragon Ladon to guard them in the Garden of Hesperides. Later, Hercules came to the garden to steal the apples and killed Ladon. The Dragon's Blood Tree and said to have sprouted from the blood of Ladon as a reward for giving his life protecting the golden apples.