Dragons blood: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on dragons blood

Calamus draco is a member of the Arecaceae or Palmae family. The long, slender stems of this plant are flexible, and the older trees develop climbing propensities. The leaves have prickly stalks which often grow into long tails and the bark is provided with many hundreds of flattened spines. The berries are about the size of a cherry, and pointed. When ripe they are covered with a reddish, resinous substance.

While the plants are young the trunk is erect, and resembles an elegant, slender palm tree, armed with innumerable dark-colored, flattened elastic spines, often disposed in oblique rows, with their bases united. The leaves are pinnate, their sheaths in petioles armed as above described; leaflets single, alternate, margins remotely armed with stiff, slender bristles, as are also the ribs; 12 to 18 inches long and about 3/4 inch broad. The spadix of the female is hermaphrodite and inserted by means of a short, armed petiole on the mouth of the sheath opposite to the leaf, and resembles a common oblong panicle. Spathes several, one to each of the 4 or 5 primary ramifications of the spadix, lanceolate and leathery; all smooth except the exterior or lower one, which is armed on the outside.

Calyx turbinate, ribbed, mouth 3-toothed, by the swelling of the ovary split into 3 portions, and in this manner adhering, together with the corolla, to the ripe berries. Corolla 3-cleft; divisions ovate-lanceolate, twice as long as the calyx, and permanent. Filaments 6, very broad, and inserted into the base of the corolla. Anthers filiform, and seemingly abortive. Ovary oval; style short; stigmas 3-cleft; divisions revolute and glandular on the inside. The berry is round, pointed, and of the size of a cherry.

common names & nomenclature
The red, bubbles that appear as the substance heats up when burned as incense resemble boiling blood, thus the common name, Dragon’s blood resin.

Also known as:
dragons blood palm, blume, draconis resina, sanguis draconis, daemomorops draco

Dragons Blood, the multipurpose hardened sap
Dragons blood: Where in the World
habitat and range for dragons blood

Dragon's blood resin comes from various species of trees native to the East Indies, Canary Islands and South America.

Dragons blood: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting dragons blood

Grows in warm, tropical climates in sun to part shade.

soil Grows best in fertile, well-drained soil.

Sow in winter, fall, or spring. Wet a small amount of peat moss so that when it is squeezed, only a couple drops come out. Mix seeds in with the peat moss and put in a ziplock bag and keep at 65-85F. Seeds should germinate in one month. Then pot seeds in a mixture of peat and sterile potting soil. Grow indoors in a sunny window with good ventilation or outside in partial sun.

The reddish, resinous substance which covers the ripe fruit is separated in several ways, the most satisfactory being by steaming, or by shaking or rubbing in coarse, canvas bags. The resin is hardened into chunks and can also be ground into powder.

Store the dried resin chunks or powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.