67. Dracaena Draco, Linn.
Sex. Syst. Hexandria, Monogynia.
This tree, which has the habit of a palm, is a native of the Canary Islands. Its stem yields by incision a red juice, which concretes and forms a red resin resembling dragon's blood (see ante, p. 169), which appears to have been collected by the Spaniards when they took possession of those islands. Hence this species has usually passed for one of the sources of dragon's blood. But none of the commercial article is obtained from it. Indeed, Guibourt [Hist. Nat. des Drogues, 4ème édit. t. li. p. 145.] states that, at the present time, it is impossible to obtain the smallest quantity of it at the Canary Islands.
One of the Dracaena-trees growing at Orotava has long been celebrated for its great size and age; and next to the Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata), it is regarded as one of the oldest inhabitants of the earth. [Humboldt, Tabl. de la Nature.—See also, Ann. des Scien. Nat. t. xiv. p. 137.]
The Elements of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Vol. II, 3th American ed., was written by Jonathan Pereira in 1853.