Dragon Blood Tree

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Dracaena cinnabari, the Socotra dragon tree, or dragon blood tree, is a unique tree that is one of the most peculiar trees in the world. The tree has a distinctive external shape that makes it look like a huge umbrella, as the leaves grow only at the end of branches and point upwards. It has many branches; it grows by dichotomy, which means that each branch is divided into two until the leaves finally grow on the branches' ends. It produces a lot of green leaves that are renewed every three or four years; they fall and other leaves grow in their place.

The dragon blood tree is a rare plant categorized under the dracaena genus of the Asparagaceae family. It grows in rocky grounds and on high locations, where it preserves water for many years; it is drought-tolerant and can adapt to arid conditions in which there is less water and soil. The dragon blood tree dates back to over 50 million years; it first appeared in the Mediterranean. It can now be found in a nature reserve containing 360 species of endangered plants and animals in Socotra, Yemen. It can also be found on Mount Dhofar in Oman, and in some subtropical forests.

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What makes this tree stand out among other trees in the world is that it bleeds when it is truncated; the bloody liquid is a type of red resin that has no smell or taste. This resin is of great importance, as it contains an effective substance known as draco, which has multiple medical uses and is part of the pharmaceutical industry to treat some health problems, such as:

  • treating wounds and burns, as it works on clotting the blood and healing wounds quickly;
  • treating infections and skin ulceration;
  • treating digestive system problems and stomach ulcerations.
  • stops internal bleeding anywhere in the body;
  • is also applied as an antiseptic and astringent gum, and in the manufacture of toothpastes.

Darco is used in some other industries, including wool dyeing, making ink and varnish, marble dyeing, coloring pottery, lipstick industry, among multiple other industries and uses.

Watch what happens when they cut a dragon blood tree off:

This tree produces red honey that is one of the most expensive honey types in the world that has many health benefits; the roots are also used in some treatments including rheumatism. Moreover, the tree's wood is used in some industries, including bee cells industry; as for the leaves, they are used in making rope. We must also not forget its importance as a giant umbrella; many endangered animals live under its shadow to protect them from harmful sunrays.

The tree is also known as the “Brothers Blood Tree”, in reference to the story of Cain and Abel, in which the first murder on Earth took place. In a Yemeni legend, it is said that Cain and Abel were the first to live on the Socotra Island; when Cain killed his brother, Abel, his blood was the reason the brothers blood tree (Dragon blood tree) grew.

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Despite the fact that the tree exists in a nature reserve, it is vulnerable to human use. Moreover, it is vulnerable to climate change, which puts it at risk of extinction.

References

botanynerds.wordpress.com
globaltrees.org


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