Lingoum officinale (Jacq.) Kuntze
Moutouchi crispata (Moc. & Sessé ex DC.) Benth.
Moutouchi suberosa Aubl.
Pterocarpus belizensis Standl.
Pterocarpus crispatus Moc. & Sessé ex DC.
Pterocarpus draco L.
Pterocarpus hemipterus Gaertn.
Pterocarpus moutouchi Poir.
Pterocarpus suberosus (Aubl.) Pers.
Common Name: Sangre De Drago
Pterocarpus officinalis is an evergreen tree growing to about 20 metres tall with occasional specimens to 30 metres[
]. The bole is about 30cm in diameter, occasionally to 90cm, and can be up to 18 metres tall[
]. It is often curved or twisted and fluted, and can have wide buttresses up to 4.5 metres tall[
]. The copious sap is red[
The tree has been planted in Cuba in the past for obtaining the officinal drug 'sangre de drago', though there is currently little trade in this material[
]. The trees are ornamental and have been planted to provide shade[
S. America - Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, north through the Caribbean and through Central America to Guatemala.
Tropical moist forest, premontane wet forest[
]. Typical of tropical moist forest, and occasionally forming pure stands next to mangroves[
]. Low elevations, in wet or very humid climates. Common in swamps and flooded forests near the coast[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Butterflies, Insects
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of mainly lowland areas of the moist to wet tropics, usually found at elevations below 350 metres, but occasionally to 800 metres.
The seeds are dispersed by water currents[
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[
]. Dragon's Blood can be obtained from several species in this genus, as well as from three other distinct genera - Dracaena species, Croton species and Daemonorops species[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The bark, when wounded, yields drops of red juice which soon harden into crimson tears; these are collected under the name of Dragon's Blood[
]. They are astringent and haemostatic[
]. They are used in the treatment of diarrhoea, mouth sores and thrush[
The bark and the wood are taken in order to procure an abortion up to the third or fourth month of pregnancy[
An infusion of the outer bark is used to treat dysentery[
When the bark is cut, it exudes a blood-red juice that soon solidifies and forms a red resin which is insipid and inodorous[
]. The resin or gum, which soon solidifies from the latex, used to be exported in large quantities from Colombia to Spain for medicinal use under the name sangre de drago[
The heartwood is dark brown or purplish with a wide band of sapwood that is whitish to light yellow[
]. The lustre is medium; the texture medium to coarse; the grain straight, sometimes irregular[
]. The wood is light, very soft, and weak[
]. It stains easily in drying, is subject to decay, and susceptible to attack by drywood termites[
]. The wood has been used for floats for fishnets, lifebelts and cheap furniture[
]. The wood is used for construction[
]. At one time pieces of the thin buttresses served as pans in washing or panning for gold[
The wood is used for fuel. It has the unusual property of being combustible in the fresh state[
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