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Plants: Species

Dragon Tree Dracaena draco


The dragon tree Dracaena draco gets its name from its red sap, which was thought to be dragon's blood by early inhabitants of the tree's native Canary Islands. These people of the late 1400s, called the Guanches, revered the dragon tree as their protector, and they used the red resin to embalm their dead, much as the Egyptians used the resins of myrrh and balsam. The tree's magical reputation continued into the 18th century, when master violin makers used "dragon's blood" to varnish their hand-crafted instruments. And its legacy continues into the present, as we still use the red resin in varnishes and cosmetics today.