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The Dragon's Blood Tree
Upon first hearing the name of this tree it sounds like something dangerous and quite horrible, but it is in fact the complete opposite. Dragons Blood has great medicinal properties and has been used for centuries to treat cuts and scrapes. It's properties are also used in varnishes and wood stains.
I first came across a Dragon's Blood tree when I was in Edinburgh as they were the center-piece of a huge exhibition in the city's Royal Garden about three or four years ago now.
The Dragon's Blood tree is native to Africa and is usually found growing in the desert. It thrives in areas affected by adverse weather such as mist, drizzle and even monsoons.
The Dragon's Blood tree is listed as vulnerable as the species number has drastically fallen due to them struggling to regenerate themselves in some areas.
The Dragon's Blood is an evergreen tree which flowers in June. The flowers are small and suttle in a pale cream, almost transparent colour.
It is possible to buy Dragon's Blood Tree Seeds, you can easily find them on the internet priced at around £15 for thirty seeds.
I tried growing one of these trees a few years ago and although it started to grow, it didn't thrive and died withih a year. However, I am not the most green-fingered person on the planet so this is no huge surprise!!
To try this yourself, simply pot the seeds in a reasonably sized tub and cover them with about two inches of soil. I just used regular compost but different types may have different effects on them. Do not make the soil too compact or the sprouts will not be able to push through.
Next it is important to water the plannt generously then to cover your pot, I used cling-film, to create a mini greenhouse.
After about three to four months you should begin to see some shoots appearing in the soil. They start off looking like mini palm trees and gradually grow.
The trick is to give them enough water and sun-light but not too much. This is wher I failed as I possible drowned my plants or exposed them to too much sun light!
If any one gives this a try please let me know how you get on, as I would be interested to know where I went wrong.
In conclusion, these are beautiful plants and I would definately give growing them a shot but they are not cheap and perhaps it is better to leave this to the more experienced gardener!