|Dracaena subsp. var.|
Dracaena (romanized form of the Ancient Greek drakaina, "female dragon") is a genus of about 40 species of trees and succulent shrubs classified in the family Ruscaceae. The majority of the species are native in Africa, with a few in southern Asia and one in tropical Central America.
Dracaena have a secondary thickening meristem in their trunk.
Some species such as D. deremensis, D. fragrans, D. godseffiana, D. marginata, and D. sanderiana are popular as houseplants. Rooted stem cuttings of D. sanderiana are widely marketed in the U.S.A. as "Lucky Bamboo", although only superficially resembling true bamboos.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Dracaena (female dragon; the dried juice supposed to resemble dragon's blood). Liliaceae. Dracena. Ornamental hothouse or stove plants, frequently with variegated leaves.
Often arborescent, with sword-shaped or broad lvs. mostly crowded at the summit of the st.: fls. clustered in panicles or heads, greenish-white or yellowish; perianth salver-form or campanulate; lobes 6, spreading; stamens 6: fr. a 3-celled berry. Differs from Cordy-line in having larger fls., and solitary instead of many ovules in each cell of the ovary.—About 40 tropical woody plants, a few being in cult.
Dracaena draco, of the Canaries, is the dragon tree. It reaches a height of 30 to 60 feet, branching when of great age. The dragon tree of Teneriffe, famous for centuries, was 70 feet high, and one of the oldest of known trees. See Cordyline for other names not found in this article; also for culture.
Pests and diseases
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
The following key to the cultivated species of both Dracaena and Cordyline is based upon the lvs.
The following are apparently not in the American trade: D. americana, Donnell Smith. Twenty to 40ft. high: lvs. linear-sword- shape, S-15 in. long, green: flu. white, small, in dense panicles. Allied to D. Draco. Cent. Amer.—D. arborea. Link. Lvs. green, sword-shaped, dense, sessile.— D. Broomfieldii, Hort. Lvs. spreading or recurved, strap-shaped, undulate, sessile, deep green bordered with broad white margins.— Botanical status obscure. —D. concinna, Kunth. Lvs. oblanceolate, green, purple on the margin, green-petioled. — D. cylindrica, Hook. Lvs. linear-lanceolate, or obovate-lanceolate, bright green, spreading.—D. Eeckhantii, Hort.—D. elliptica. Thunb. Lvs. spreading, petioled, thickish, elliptic-lanceolate, glossy, acute, longitudinally striate.—D. ensifolia, Hort. Amer. equals Dianella ensifolia. —D. kewensii, Hort. Lvs. dark green, broadly oblong-lanceolate- acute: petiole red, half as long as the blade. New Caledonia. New. May be a form of C. terminalis.— D. marginata, Lam. Lvs. sword-shaped, dense, spreading, green, margined and veined with red.—D. marmorata. Hort.—D. phrynioides. Hook. Lvs. petioled, mostly oval, acuminate, coriaceous, spotted with yellowish white, pale beneath.—D. reflexa. Lam. Lvs. lanceolate or sword- shaped, acute, contracted into a petiole.—D. Saposchnikowi, Regel. Lvs. sword-shaped, crowded, green.—D. Smithii, Baker. Lvs. large, narrowly sword-shaped, crowded, bright green.
Some trade names, the botanical status of which is in doubt, are the following: alba-marginata, albanensis, Alexandria, angustifolia, angustata,argenteo-striata, DeSmetiana, edmontoniensis, elefantissima, Elizabethiae, Frederica, Hendersonii, impercator, Jamesii, Janssesii, Lacourtii, Mayi, Mandaeana, Offeri, perelyares, recurva, Salmonea, Sheperdii, spectabilis. D. nova-caledonica is probably Cordyline neo-caledonica, Lindl., with bronze lvs.
They can be divided into two groups based on their growth habits:
- A group of tree-size species with stout trunks and stiff, broad-based leaves, growing in arid semi-desert areas, and known as dragon trees.
- A group of smaller, shrubby species with slender stems and flexible strap-shaped leaves, growing as understorey plants in rainforests (and very popular as houseplants), and known collectively as shrubby dracaenas.
- Dracaena americana - Central America Dragon Tree
- Dracaena arborea - Tree Dracaena
- Dracaena cinnabari - Socotra Dragon Tree
- Dracaena draco - Canary Islands Dragon Tree
- Dracaena ombet - Gabal Elba Dragon Tree
- Dracaena tamaranae - Gran Canaria Dragon Tree
- Dracaena aletriformis
- Dracaena bicolor
- Dracaena cincta
- Dracaena concinna
- Dracaena elliptica
- Dracaena deremensis
- Dracaena fragrans - Striped Dracaena, Compact Dracaena, corn plant, Cornstalk Dracaena
- Dracaena goldieana
- Dracaena hookeriana
- Dracaena mannii
- Dracaena marginata - Red-edged Dracaena or Madagascar Dragon Tree
- Dracaena marmorata
- Dracaena phrynioides
- Dracaena reflexa - Pleomele Dracaena or "Song of India"
- Dracaena sanderiana - Ribbon Dracaena, marketed as "Lucky Bamboo"
- Dracaena surculosa - Spotted Dracaena or Gold Dust Dracaena
- Dracaena thalioides
- Dracaena umbraculifera
Several other species previously included in Dracaena are now treated in the genus Cordyline.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963