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Dracaena draco Dracaena draco
Dragon Tree
This tree is related to Ladon, an ancient dragon with a hundred heads, each of which spoke in a different voice. When Juno was married, Gaia gave her three golden apples as a present. Juno put them in the Garden of the Hesperides and set Ladon to guard them. Herakles intended to steal the apples and killed Ladon. From the creature's blood sprang these trees. Juno rewarded the dragon by putting him among the stars as the constellation Draco, which wraps itself around the North Pole like Ladon wrapped itself around the trees in the garden. One of its stars, Thuban (Arabic for "dragon"), was the Pole Star around 2700 BC, when Ladon's story was first being told. The pyramid of Khufu contains a passage that was built to point at Thuban. Magickally, this Mars tree is excellent for defense and for boosting the power of any work. Top

Constellation Draco This exotic tree is a native of the Canary Islands, Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The natives of the Canary Islands harvested the resin of these trees for mummification. They made shields of its bark, colored their hair red with its leaves, and hollowed out dead trees for beehives (lots of nice Mars connections here). The odd branch formations resemble the hundred heads of the dragon. Fossils of this tree have been found in southern France. It  probably grew along the coast of the Tethys Sea, which once separated Africa and Eurasia and shrank to become the Mediterranean. During the Spanish Conquest, dragon trees were over-harvested; nowadays they are very scarce in their native areas and are protected. The red resin  of this tree is richly fragrant and of a much higher quality than the resin from Calamus draco--it is almost impossible to find on the market at all. Top

Dracaena houseWhen it is young, the dragon tree looks more like an agave--a bunch of upward pointing sword-shaped leaves (leaves can be up to 2 ft long). As it ages, it resembles a sort of palm with a bunch of spiked leaves at the top instead of fronds. Its mature shape is tree-like, with all the branches ending at the same line, like an inside-out umbrella, and it develops thick aerial roots. (illustration shows a mature tree used as a house). This plant is very slow growing--it can take 10 years to reach a height of 2-3 feet (its maximum height is 30 ft). Every time it flowers (greenish-white blooms are fragrant), it branches, which causes the hundred-headed effect. It resists bugs well and when mature is very resistant to fire (which again makes a nice Mars connection). It is not for instant gardens but an investment in the future, representing the gardener's hope and trust. Instead of harvesting the resin from the main trunk, which can damage a young tree, try harvesting the leaves sparingly. Top

How to grow Dragon Tree: 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 that and put in a ziplock bag and keep at 65-85F. Seeds should germinate in one month. Then pot them in a mixture of peat and sterile potting soil--this plant hates compost. Grow indoors in a sunny window with good ventilation or outside in partial sun in zones 9-12 (hardy only to 22F/-5C). This plant grows well in coastal southern California south to Mexico. Despite loving warmth, it should be protected from very intense afternoon sunlight, as in Arizona, and if grown inland, protect them from drying winds.  General growing information  Top

 

Dracaena draco
Dragon tree
10 seeds $3.75



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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Protection Spells
Potentiating Any Work
Mars Herb

2004, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission