Welsh dragon tree flowers for the first time


James Davies

The 40 year old dragon tree in the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales has flowered for the first time ever.

Officially extinct in its Canary Islands home, the Wales-based dragon tree, Dracaena draco, is thought to have been prompted into bloom by the recent hot weather.

“It’s very exciting. It wouldn’t normally flower in our climate as it is a good bit cooler than the Canaries but the recent hot spell appears to have triggered this rather historic, middle-aged flowering,” said horticulturist Marilla Burgess who expects the flower spike to grow to around four feet tall.

The dragon tree is the stuff of legends; when its bark or leaves are cut, they secrete a reddish resin once sought after by magicians and apothecaries who thought it resembled dragons’ blood. The resin has been employed for many different purposes since ancient times including as an embalming fluid and to stain wood such as that of Stradivarius violins.

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