This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(female dragon; the dried juice supposed to resemble dragon's blood). Liliceae Dracena. Ornamental hothouse or stove plants, frequently with variegated leaves.
Often arborescent, with sword-shaped or broad leaves mostly crowded at the summit of the stem: flowers clustered in panicles or heads, greenish - white or yellowish; perianth salver-form or campanulate; lobes 6, spreading; stamens 6: fruit a 3-celled berry. Differs from Cordy-line in having larger flowers, and solitary instead of many ovules in each cell of the ovary. - About 40 tropical woody plants, a few being in cultivation See Baker, Journ. Linn. Soc, vol. 14, for a monograph of the genus.
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.
The following key to the cultivated species of both Dracaena and Cordyline is based upon the leaves
a. Leaves long and sword-shaped, sessile. b. The leaves glaucous beneath, 2-5 in. wide.........................C. indivisa bb. The leaves with both faces similar, narrower. c. Of mature plants narrow (6-15 lines broad).................C. stricta cc. Of mature plants broader (l-2in.). v. Margins green.
e. Color of leaves glaucous-green, costate, l 1/2-2 ft. by 15-21 lines...................D. Draco ee. Color of leaves green, costate, undulate below, 2-3 1/2 ft.
by l 1/2-2 in..............D.umbraculifera eee. Color of leaves green, costa obscure, 3-4 ft. by 13-18 lines.C. australis dd. Margins white-pellucid.......D. Hookeriana aa. Leaves oblanceolate, broadly petioled or sessile. b. Size of leaves 3-4 in. by l 1/2-2 in., opposite or whorled.............D. Godseffiana bb. Size of leaves 12-15 in. by 18-21 lines, alternate......................C. rubra bbb. Size of leaves 1 1/2-3 ft. by 2-4 in., alternate, c. Pedicels'1-1 1/2 lines long; perianth 5-7 lines long..........D. f ragrans cc. Pedicels l 1/2-2 lines long; perianth 7-8 lines long..........D. deremensis aaa. Leaves ovate, lanceolate, or elliptical; petioles narrow. b. The leaves 4-8 in. by 2-2 1/2 in., oblong-falcate, green..................C. Haageana bb. The leaves 7-8 in. by 4-5 in., oblong, white-spotted..................D. Goldieana bbb. The leaves 7-10 in. by 1/2-l 1/2 in., lanceolate, white-margined........D. Sanderiana bbbb. The leaves 10-18 in. by 1-3 1/2 in., elliptical.....................C. terminalis
1. Draco, Linn. Dragon-Tree. Arborescent (60 ft. high), branched: leaves very numerous, crowded, sword-shaped, erect or the outer recurved (1 1/2-2 ft. x l 1/4-l 3/4in.), scarcely narrowed below, long-attenuate at the apex, glaucous-green: pedicels 3-6 lines long: bracts minute, lanceolate: perianth 4 lines long, greenish; filaments flat: berries orange. Canary isls. B.M. 4571. R.H. 1869, p. 416; 1880, p. 196. G.C. II. 14:749. G.W. 12:233. J.F. 2, pi. 124. - Fine for conservatory. D. Boerhavii, Tenore, is a garden form, with elongated leaves, all recurved.
2. umbraculifera, Jacq. Arborescent (3-10 ft. high), simple: leaves very numerous, crowded, sword-shaped (2-3 1/2 ft. x 1 1/2-2 in.), outer recurved, all green and shining, attenuate at the apex, scarcely narrowed toward the conspicuously undulate base, costa distinct on both faces: pedicels 4-6 fines long: bracts minute, deltoid: perianth large, 2 in. long, white, tinged with red; filaments filiform. Mauritius. L.B.C. 3:289.
3. Hookeriana, Koch (C Rumphii, Hook. D. Rumphii, Regel). Trunk 3-6 ft. high, sometimes branched: leaves numerous, densely clustered, sword-shaped (2-2 1/2 ft. x 1 1/2-2 in.), outer reflexed, all long-attenuate at the apex, scarcely narrowed below, margin white-pellucid, lower face concave, indistinctly costate beneath: bracts l 1/2-3 in. long, white: pedicels 3-4 lines long; perianth greenish, 12-15 lines long; filaments filiform: berries orange. Cape of Good Hope. D. latifolia, Regel, is a horticultural variety, with leaves 3-3 1/2 in. wide. G.C. III. 20:305 (variety latifolia). B.M. 4279 (as Cordyline Rumphii.) variety variegata, Hort. Variegated foliage.
4. fragrans, Ker-Gawl (Aletris fragrans, Linn. Sansevieria fragrans, Jacq.). Arborescent (20 ft. high or more), sometimes branched: leaves (1 1/2-3 ft. x 2 1/2-4 in.) sessile, oblanceolate, lax and spreading or recurved, flaccid, green and shining, acute, indistinctly costate:
Fig. 1345. Dracaena fragrans variety Lindenii.
bracts minute, scarious, deltoid: pedicels 1-1 1/2 lines long; flowers glomerate; perianth 6-8 lines long, yellow: berry orange-red. Guinea. B.M. 1081. A.G. 18:389. F.R. 4:189. Gn. M. 8:270. G.W. 12:232. G. 2:286. - Much used for greenhouse and table decoration. D. Knerkii, Hort. Form with glossy light green, less pendulous leaves D. Rothiana, Hort. A garden form. I.H. 43, p. 97. R.H. 1877, p. 68. D. Victdria, Hort. A garden form. Gn. 63, p. 77. variety Lindenii, Hort. (D. Lindenii, Hort.). Fig. 1345. Leaves recurved, traversed from base to apex by creamy white bands. Very decorative. I.H. 27:384. F.R. 4:191. G.W. 14:321. A.F. 35:1241. G.C. III. 30:176. variety Massangeana, Hort. (D. Massangeana, Hort.). A broad yellow stripe along the center of the If. throughout its entire length. F.R. 4:193.
5. deremensis, Engler. Plant 9-15 ft. high, branched: leaves 1 1/2 ft. long, 2 in. wide, narrowed into a broad petiole-like base: infloresence large; flowers on pedicels 1 1/2-2 lines long; perianth 7-8 lines long, with tube 4 lines long, dark red without, white within, unpleasant scented. Africa G.C. III. 50:23. G.M. 54:523. G.W. 11:505 (all as variety Warneckii).
Plate XXXVII. Dracaena Goldieana, a "foliage plant" from tropical Africa.
6. Goldieana, Hort. Plate XXXVII. Trunk simple, slender: leaves distant, spreading, thick-oblong (7-8 in. x 4-5 in.), cuspidately pointed, base broadly rounded or cordate, glossy green, conspicuously white-spotted and banded, young leaves often tinged with red; petioles erect (2-3 in. long), deeply grooved: flowers unknown. W. tropical Africa B.M. 6630. R.H. 1878, p. 15. I.H. 25:300; 42, p. 257. G.C. II. 17:49. G.Z. 22:1. G. 2:271; 14:239. G.W. 12:235. - A fine foliage plant.
7. Sanderiana, Hort. (D. thaloldes variety variegata, Hort.?). Slender: leaves distant, alternate, spreading or recurved (7-10 x 1/2-1 1/2 in.), narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, on rather broad petioles (1-3 in. long), glossy-green, broadly margined with white. Congo. A.F. 8:1281; 11:235. I.H. 40:175. G.C.III. 13:445. G.W.14:322. Gn.W. 14:617. G. 23:533. G.L. 16:235. - Intro, in 1893.
8. Godseffiana, Hort. Woody, but very slender, rather diffuse: leaves at many nodes small, erect, scalelike and lanceolate, the others opposite or in whorls of 3, oblong or obovate, spreading, cuspidate, sessile (3-4 x1 1/2-2 in.), firm, green, with copious white spots: raceme short-peduncled: bracts small: fruit globular, greenish yellow or red, nearly 1 in. diam. Congo. G.C. III. 21:347. Gn. 50, p. 276; 51:298, and p. 299. A.F. 13:1340. F.E. 10, supp. 2:12. Gng. 6:294. G. 19:388. - Fine for decorative purposes.
The following are apparently not in the American trade: D. americana, Donnell Smith. Twenty to 40 ft. high: leaves linear-sword-shape, 8-15 in. long, green: flowers white, small, in dense panicles. Allied to D. Draco. Cent. Amer. S.T.S. 1:207. New. - D. arborea, Link. Leaves green, sword-shaped, dense, sessile. Gt. 46:1438; and p. 226. G.W. 8:260; 12:232. - D. Broomfieldii, Hort. Leaves spreading or recurved, strap-shaped, undulate, sessile, deep green bordered with broad white margins. J.H. III. 33:541. G.C. III. 20:667; 23:249; 33:249 (variety) G. 27:597. G.W. 13:4. - Botanical status obscure. - D. concinna, Kunth. Leaves oblanceolate, green, purple on the margin, green-petioled. - D. cylindrica, Hook. Leaves linear-lanceolate, or obovate-lanceolate, bright green, spreading. B.M. 5846. - D. Eeckhantii, Hort. F.R. 4:46. Gn.W. 16:697. - D. elllptica, Thunb. Leaves spreading, petioled, thickish, elliptic-lanceolate, glossy, acute, longitudinally striate. B.M. 4787. G.C. II. 17:261 (variety maculata). - D. ensifolia, Hort. Amer.=Dianella ensifolia. - D. kewensis, Hort. Leaves dark green, broadly oblong-lanceolate-acute; petiole red, half as long as the blade. New Caledonia. New. May be a form of C. terminalis.
G.C. HI. 33:265. F.E. 15:619. - D. marginata, Lam. Leaves sword-shaped, dense, spreading, green, margined and veined with red. G.W. 12:235. - D. marmorata, Hort. B.M. 7078. - D. phrynioides, Hook. Leaves petioled, mostly oval, acuminate, coriaceous, spotted with yellowish white, pale beneath. B.M. 5352. - D. reflexa, Lam. Leaves lanceolate or sword-shaped, acute, contracted into a petiole. - D. Saposchnikowi, Regel. Leaves sword-shaped, crowded, green. Gt. 705. - D. Smithii, Baker. Leaves large; narrowly sword-shaped, crowded, bright green. B.M. 6169.
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, imperator, Jamesii, Janssesii, Lacourtii, Mayi, Mandaeana, Offeri, perelyares, recurva, Salmonea, Sheperdii, spectabilis. D. nova-caledonica is probably Cordyline neo-caledonica, Lindl., with bronze leaves K M Wiegand