Spectacular Trees: Dragon's Blood

Socotra, Yemen, Andrew Svk

An extremely rare and beautiful tropical tree, the dragon's blood tree is found only in the rainforests of Ecuador and small pockets of Peru. The tree was first introduced to Europe in 1881 by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Curator, Richard Spruce.

While formerly known by its botanical name, Dracaena Draco, Dragon’s Blood is also known by its indigenous Quechua name, kawsacolla, which means "treasure" in the local Quechua language. It derives from the fact that the fruits of this tree are said to have a magical and wondrous smell.

The trees have shiny dark green leaves and clusters of striking red flowers, bell-shaped with five petals each, that usually bud during the dry season in spring and summer of each year. The tree also has a crown of large branches, a straight trunk that's about 13 feet tall and a 4-foot diameter.

Socotra, Yemen, Andrew Svk

Dragon’s blood is perhaps best known for the orange peeled fruit it produces. The flesh of the fruit contains a dark, sticky liquid called dragon's blood resin. This resin is used as ink and dye, but it's also said to have many medicinal properties.