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Large Leaved Dragon Tree

Dracaena aletriformis (Haw.) Bos

Brief Summary

Comprehensive Description

    Dracaena aletriformis
    provided by wikipedia

    Dracaena aletriformis is commonly known as the Large-leaved Dragon Tree. These plants are found in forest in the eastern areas of South Africa from Port Elizabeth to northern and eastern Gauteng.[2] They are also found in Swaziland,[2] but are most common in the coastal and dune forests of KwaZulu-Natal.[3]


    This plant has 8 synonyms.[1] In the APG III classification system, the genus Dracaena is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae).[4]) It has also been placed in the Agavaceae (now the subfamily Agavoideae) and the Dracaenaceae. Like many lilioid monocots, it was formerly placed in the family Liliaceae (lily family).[2]


    Single stemmed or branched (usually at the base). The leaves are large and strap-shaped in rosettes at the tips of the stem/s. The leaves are leathery, shiny, and dark green, with whitish margins. These plants may grow up to 4 m tall. The flowers are produced on a much branched flowering head. The flowers are silvery-white and described as sweetly[3] or strongly[2] scented. The two-lobed berry-like fruit ripen to a reddish-orange colour.

    Ecological Significance

    The flowers open from late afternoon to early morning and attract night-active pollinator moths. Birds eat the fruit; helping to remove the orange pulp which contains a growth inhibitor that otherwise slows germination of the seeds.[2] Snails and the larvae of the Bush Night Fighter butterfly, Artitropa erinnys, feed on the leaves.[2][5] Birds and mice nest among the leaves of these plants.[3]


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    A group of D. aletriformis in dune vegetation.
    Fruit of D. aletriformis.
    Surrounded by Isoglossa woodii in dune vegetation.
    A young specimen.


    1. ^ a b Dracaena aletriformis (Haw.) Bos [family DRACAENACEAE]{{dead link|date=December 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}[permanent dead link], Aluka
    2. ^ a b c d e f Viljoen, C. (2003). Dracaena aletriformis, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
    3. ^ a b c Pooley, E. (1993)
    4. ^ Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009), "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161 (2): 132–136, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x.mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    5. ^ Williams, M. (1994).

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