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Useful Tropical Plants

Dracaena cinnabari

Balf.f.

Asparagaceae

+ Synonyms

Draco cinnabari (Balf.f.) Kuntze

Common Name: Socotra Dragon Blood

Dracaena cinnabari
Very old trees growing on the island of Socotra
Photograph by: Rod Waddington
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
Dracaena cinnabari Dracaena cinnabari Dracaena cinnabari Dracaena cinnabari Dracaena cinnabari

General Information

Dracaena cinnabari is an evergreen tree with a dense crown growing about 9 metres tall. The tree normally branches freely to form a very distinctive umbrella shape.
The tree is particularly valued for the resin obtained from the trunk, which is harvested from the wild and has various uses in medicine, making varnishes, as a cosmetic etc.
Dracaena cinnabari is found only on the island of Socotra, off the northeast coast of Africa, where it appears that populations of the tree have been in general decline for some time. Although many trees still remain, regeneration is poor[
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.
]. The decline seems to be linked to a gradual drying in the region, plus overgrazing which leads to young plants being eaten[
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.
]. Currently (2020) this species occupies only 5% of its potential habitats, and over 100 years of normal/typical regeneration is missing. Consequently the tree has been classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2004)[
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


Range

Northeastern Africa - Socotra.

Habitat

Most commonly found amongst rocks and limestone, in evergreen and semi-deciduous woodland[
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.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height9.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Dracaena cinnabari is a plant of the drier tropics, growing best in areas where the monsoon causes several months of cloud and drizzly weather each year[
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 found in areas with seasonally arid climates where the average annual precipitation is 200 - 500mm and the mean annual temperature is 18 - 20°c[
1863
Title
The Conservation Status and Population Mapping of the Endangered Dracaena Serrulata in the Dhofar Mountains, Oman
Publication
Forests 2020, 11, 322
Author
Vahalik P. et al
Website
http://10.3390/f11030322
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
Requires a well-drained soil and a position in full sun. Established plants are very drought tolerant.
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 - Croton 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 resin obtained from the tree is antifungal, antioxidant, astringent and haemostatic[
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.
,
1859
Title
Ethnobotanical Survey of Dracaena cinnabari and Investigation of the Pharmacognostical Properties, Antifungal and An
Publication
Plants 2018, 7, 91; doi:10.3390/plants7040091
Author
Al-Fatimi M.
Website
http://10.3390/plants7040091
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. It is used to treat haemorrhages[
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.
].
Both the fresh and the dried resin have a long history of traditional use, mainly being applied externally. Conditions treating include skin problems such as acne, rashes and boils, inflammation, sores, burns etc; dental problems such as tooth decay; eye problems including conjuctivitis and inflammation; gastrointestinal tract problems; bleeding (including internal bleeding, where the resin will be taken internally)[
1859
Title
Ethnobotanical Survey of Dracaena cinnabari and Investigation of the Pharmacognostical Properties, Antifungal and An
Publication
Plants 2018, 7, 91; doi:10.3390/plants7040091
Author
Al-Fatimi M.
Website
http://10.3390/plants7040091
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

A resin is obtained from the tree[
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.
]. Called 'Socotra dragon blood', it occurs in tears of a beautiful garnet colour when broken[
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.
]. It is used in varnishes[
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.
]. The dried resin is melted and used for drawing on and colouring pottery, bottles etc[
1859
Title
Ethnobotanical Survey of Dracaena cinnabari and Investigation of the Pharmacognostical Properties, Antifungal and An
Publication
Plants 2018, 7, 91; doi:10.3390/plants7040091
Author
Al-Fatimi M.
Website
http://10.3390/plants7040091
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The resin is also used as a cosmetic. In particular, the fresh resin is chewed and the liquid used as a red lipstick and fingernail varnish.A paste prepared from the fresh resin is mixed with curcuma and rubbed on the face as a smoothing and softening agent[
1859
Title
Ethnobotanical Survey of Dracaena cinnabari and Investigation of the Pharmacognostical Properties, Antifungal and An
Publication
Plants 2018, 7, 91; doi:10.3390/plants7040091
Author
Al-Fatimi M.
Website
http://10.3390/plants7040091
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

A fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making rope[
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.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings. Dracaena species are generally easy to propagate. Only a small piece of the plant is required to form a new plant, and even when thrown away it may easily root[
1862
Title
Taxonomic novelties in African Dracaena (Dracaenaceae)
Publication
Blumea 63, 2018: 31-53
Author
Damen T.H.J. et al
Website
https://doi.org/10.3767/blumea.2018.63.01.05
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
2212-1676
Description
 
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-02-23. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Dracaena%20cinnabari>

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