Many beautiful, interesting, and strange plants live on our planet. One very unusual species is the Socotra Island dragon blood tree, or Dracaena cinnabari. This tree not only has a very distinctive appearance but also releases a red sap, or resin, that is known as dragon’s blood. People have collected and used the resin for many years.
According to legend, the first dragon blood tree was created from the blood of a dragon that was wounded when it fought an elephant. Like the unfortunate dragon, the tree secretes its resin when it’s injured. In ancient times, the resin was believed to have magical and medicinal properties. People used it as a pigment for art, a dye, and a medicine. Dragon’s blood is still used for these purposes today.
Socotra Island is part of an archipelago off the coast of Yemen and Somalia. A fascinating and unique group of plants and animals live on the islands of the archipelago. Conservation of these organisms is very important for maintaining the Earth’s biodiversity.