Canary Island Dragon Tree
The Canary Island Dragon Tree, Dracaena draco, is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species™. It is found on the Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Madeira and Morocco.
There has been a recent decline in naturally occurring Dragon Trees and the species is becoming very rare in the wild. It is thought that a now extinct endemic flightless bird that fed on the fruit of the tree may have played an essential part in stimulating germination. This is one theory, however, the tree is also threatened by habitat loss and grazing pressure. The red sap, known as ‘Dragon’s Blood’, has a variety of uses as a colourant and medicine, and was used by the Guanche people of the Canary Islands in their mummification processes.
The species is protected under national law from picking and uprooting and efforts have been made on the islands to make people aware of the plant and the need for its conservation. There are 127 collections of this species outside of its natural habitat.