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Dracaena (plant): Wikis

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Dracaena
Dracaena draco
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Ruscaceae
Genus: Dracaena
Vand. ex L.
Species

See text

Dracaena reflexa
"Lucky Bamboo", Dracaena sanderiana
Dracaena flower.

Dracaena (pronounced /drəˈsiːnə/,[1] romanized form of the Ancient Greek δράκαινα - drakaina, "female dragon") is a genus of about 40 species of trees and succulent shrubs classified in the family Ruscaceae in the APG II system, or, according to some treatments, separated (sometimes with Cordyline) into a family of their own, Dracaenaceae or in the Agavaceae. The majority of the species are native in Africa, with a few in southern Asia and one in tropical Central America. The segregate genus Pleomele is now generally included in Dracaena. The genus Sanseviera is closely related, and has recently been synonymized under Dracaena in the Kubitzki system.

Contents

Characteristics

Dracaena have a secondary thickening meristem in their trunk. This monocotyledonous secondary thickening meristem is quite different from the thickening meristem found in dicotyledonous plants and is termed Dracaenoid thickening by some authors. This character is shared with other members of the Agavaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae among other related families.

Species

They can be divided into two groups based on their growth habits:

A group of tree-size species with stout trunks and stiff, broad-based leaves, growing in arid semi-desert areas, and known as dragon trees.

  • Dracaena americana - Central America Dragon Tree
  • Dracaena arborea - Tree Dracaena
  • Dracaena cinnabari - Socotra Dragon Tree
  • Dracaena draco - Canary Islands Dragon Tree
  • Dracaena ombet - Gabal Elba Dragon Tree
  • Dracaena tamaranae - Gran Canaria Dragon Tree

A group of smaller, shrubby species with slender stems and flexible strap-shaped leaves, growing as understorey plants in rainforests (and very popular as houseplants), and known collectively as shrubby dracaenas.

  • Dracaena aletriformis
  • Dracaena bicolor
  • Dracaena cincta
  • Dracaena concinna
  • Dracaena elliptica
  • Dracaena deremensis
  • Dracaena fragrans - Striped Dracaena, Compact Dracaena, corn plant, Cornstalk Dracaena
  • Dracaena goldieana
  • Dracaena hookeriana
  • Dracaena mannii
  • Dracaena marginata - Red-edged Dracaena or Madagascar Dragon Tree
  • Dracaena marmorata
  • Dracaena phrynioides
  • Dracaena reflexa - Pleomele Dracaena or "Song of India"
  • Dracaena sanderiana - Ribbon Dracaena, marketed as "Lucky Bamboo"
  • Dracaena surculosa - Spotted Dracaena or Gold Dust Dracaena
  • Dracaena thalioides
  • Dracaena umbraculifera

Several other species previously included in Dracaena are now treated in the genus Cordyline.[2]

Uses

A bright red resin, dragon's blood, is produced from D. draco and, in ancient times, from D. cinnabari. Modern dragon's blood is however more likely to be from the unrelated Daemonorops rattan palms.

Some species such as D. deremensis, D. fragrans, D. godseffiana, D. marginata, and D. sanderiana are popular as houseplants. Rooted stem cuttings of D. sanderiana are widely marketed in the U.S.A. as "Lucky Bamboo", although only superficially resembling true bamboos.

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Medicinal uses

Dracaena can produce a bright red resin, called dragon's blood. The red resin was used in ancient times as medicine. [3]

References

Notes

  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book. 1995. pp. 606–607. ISBN 0376038519. 
  2. ^ Dracaena names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database.
  3. ^ Yronwode, C. (2002). Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic. The Lucky Mojo Curio Co., Forestville, CA. ISBN 0-9719612-0-4. 

General references

  • Waterhouse, J. T. (1987). "The Phylogenetic Significance of Dracaena-type growth". Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 109: 129–128. 

External links


Simple English

Dracaena is a genus of about 40 trees and succulent shrubs. The name comes from Ancient Greek drakaina, meaning female dragon. Most of them are native to tropical Africa, some occur in Southeast Asia, and tropical South America. They are usually classified into Dragon trees and shrubby dracenas according to how they grow; the latter are also often grown as house plants.

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