Why in news?
For the first time that a dragon tree species has been reported from India.
About the species:
- A trio of researchers has discovered Dracaena Cambodian, a dragon tree species in the DongkaSarpo area of West KarbiAnglong, Assam.
- It is a plant that yields dragon’s blood, a bright red resin, used since ancient times as medicine in China, body oil, varnish, incense and dye.
- In addition, various parts of the plant yield antifungal and antibacterial compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids etc…
- In India, the Dracaena genus belonging to the family Asparagaceae is represented by nine species and two varieties in the Himalayan region, the northeast and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.
- But according to the study, Dracaena Cambodian is the only true dragon tree species.
- It is a medicinal plant as well as an ornamental tree.
- Overexploitation to meet the increasing demand for dragon’s blood.
- The habitat of the plant is severely fragmented due to open excavation of a stone quarry.
- Decrease in the number of mature individuals.
- The Dracaena seeds are usually dispersed by birds. Only a few species of birds are able to swallow the fruits because of its big size, thus limiting the scope of its natural conservation.