Based on all the LIKES from the last post, I am going to post another picture of the same tree today. I hope you don’t mind. 😉
In the front (or at least I think it’s the front) of that tree, there’s a plate that reads,
Dragon Tree, Dracaena Draco, agavaceae
Native to the Canary Islands this unusual tree was planted at The Del prior to the turn of the century where it thrives in our temperate southern California coastal climate.
The Dragon Tree was used as a backdrop in the Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed at The Del in 1958.
DID YOU KNOW?
When the bark or leaves are cut (Dragon Tree) secrete a reddish resin, one of the sources of the substance known as Dragon’s blood, used to stain wood, such as of Stradivarius violins. It also has a number of traditional medicinal uses. (Dracaena draco – Wikipedia)
Ohhh…No wonder I was so awe-struck by this tree. A real Stradivarius sounds Amazing. And I wouldn’t mind a wand made of this dragon tree wood with a drop of dragon’s blood, a drop of Unicorn tear, and one Phoenix feather either. 😉
DRAGON TREE IS NOT A TREE
According to Wiki (if you have a better source, let me know) Dragon Trees are actually “Monocotyledons, also known as monocots, are one of two major groups of flowering plants (or angiosperms) that are traditionally recognized, the other being dicotyledons, or dicots. Monocot seedlings typically have one cotyledon (seed-leaf), in contrast to the two cotyledons typical of dicots. Monocots have been recognized at various taxonomic ranks, and under various names (see below). The APG II system recognises a clade called “monocots” but does not assign it to a taxonomic rank.”
After reading the last bit, I felt like I am back in Botany 101 (Plant Biology) class again except that I don’t remember half (nay, most) of what I learned. Maybe some of you do remember or are experts in this field? In which case, please teach me. 🙂
So I read on… And I found out that–
“Dracaena draco is a monocot with a tree-like growth habit currently placed in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoidae).It is not a real tree. When young it has a single stem. At about 10–15 years of age the stems stops growing and produces a flower spike with white, lily-like perfumed flowers, followed by coral berries. Soon a crown of terminal buds appear and the plant starts branching. Each branch grows for about 10–15 years and re-branches, so a mature plant has an umbrella-like habit. It grows slowly, requiring about ten years to reach 1.2 metres (4 ft) in height but can grow much faster.”
Okay…So what’s so different?
In trees, I learned that you can count the age rings to find the tree’s age, but in a Dragon Tree, you can’t do that. While it mimics the look of a tree, Dragon Tree is not a tree and therefore doesn’t have age rings.
So how can you tell how old the tree is?
Well, if you planted it and kept good records, you will know. Or in some instances, you can count the branching points and do some estimates.
Isn’t that just fascinating?
I can’t wait to read more on this topic. Dragon Tree is such a cool non-tree tree look-a-like plant.