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Useful Tropical Plants

Croton draco

Schltdl.

Euphorbiaceae

+ Synonyms

Croton callistanthus Croizat

Croton panamensis (Klotzsch) Müll.Arg.

Croton steyermarkianus Croizat

Croton triumfettoides Croizat

Cyclostigma denticulatum Klotzsch

Cyclostigma draco (Schltdl.) Klotzsch

Cyclostigma panamense Klotzsch

Oxydectes draco (Schltdl.) Kuntze

Oxydectes panamensis (Klotzsch) Kuntze

Common Name: Sangre de Drago

Croton draco
Close-up of female (green) and male flowers
Photograph by: O. M. Montiel
Creative Commons License
Croton draco Croton draco Croton draco Croton draco

General Information

Croton draco is a large shrub or a tree, rarely reaching a height of 20 - 25 metres, with a straight, cylindrical bole that can be up to 50 cm in diameter[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
].
All parts of the plant, if damaged, exude a red liquid that has medicinal properties. The tree is encouraged to grow in the wild so that the red liquid can be harvested for use in traditional medicine[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
Croton draco has a very wide distribution, large population, is not currently experiencing any major threats and no significant future threats have been identified. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2019)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

Northern S. America - Colombia; C. America - Panama to Mexico.

Habitat

Moist or wet thickets or forest, frequently in secondary growth, often on very steep sides of barrancos, at elevations of 600 - 1,600 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height15.00 m
Cultivation StatusSemi-cultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Most Croton species are relatively indifferent to their habitat and can grow on a wide range of soils in both disturbed and undisturbed vegetation[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
This species is one of several that supply a red resin from their stem. This resin, often known as 'Dragon's Blood' is often used as an external application to treat a range of skin problems and injuries[
1754
Title
A Systematic Review of the Botanical, Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile of Dracaena cochinchinensis, a Plant
Publication
Molecules 2014, 19, 10650-10669; doi:10.3390/molecules190710650
Author
Jia-Yi Fan et al
Website
http://10.3390/molecules190710650
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1420-3049
Description
 
]. Dragon's Blood can be obtained from several species in this genus, as well as from three other distinct genera - Dracaena species, Daemonorops species and Pterocarpus species[
1754
Title
A Systematic Review of the Botanical, Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile of Dracaena cochinchinensis, a Plant
Publication
Molecules 2014, 19, 10650-10669; doi:10.3390/molecules190710650
Author
Jia-Yi Fan et al
Website
http://10.3390/molecules190710650
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1420-3049
Description
 
]

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The plant is used medicinally[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

A red exudate from the plant is astringent[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]. It is used in folk medicine, It is rubbed on the gums to strengthen weak teeth and harden the gums[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
,
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]. It is also used to treat fevers, gastric ulcers, grains caused by leishmaniasis and in wound healing[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
,
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]

Other Uses

The bitter tasting, blood red sap is used to make a red dye[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2023-02-04. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Croton+draco>

Comments

Barry Biesanz 03rd April 2015 23:58
The sap I've found to be VERY effective for plant caused rashes, inflamed molars, and wounds
Called Tagua in CR, a weedy tree of the highlands

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