Garden Closed

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is temporarily closed to the public to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus.

Whenever possible, the USBG will reschedule public programs and events originally scheduled during the closure period. Please monitor the USBG website for updates to operating status. Many resources can still be accessed online, including educational worksheets and manuals, fact sheets and more, and some of our programs will also be made available online. Find online resources at www.USBG.gov/AtHome

Dragon tree

Dragon tree
Plant Botanical Name: 
Dracaena draco
USBG Plant Location: 
Conservatory
Conservatory Room Location: 
World Deserts
Plant Threat Level: 
Vulnerable

Dracaena draco, or dragon tree, is a very vulnerable plant found only in (endemic to) the arid, rocky mountain ranges of the Canary Islands, Madeira and Cape Verde. Though the dragon tree is now a common houseplant and garden specimen, there are very few naturally occurring individuals remaining in its narrow ecological range. The dark red sap of Dracaena draco was regarded for centuries in European legends as "the blood of dragons," and was often used for its supposed magical and medicinal qualities. This resin is still used today to produce incense and varnishes used to stain and polish wood, including that of Stradivarius violins.