Socotra island is home to the Dragon’s Blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari).
Dragon’s Blood is the most important long-lived tree on the island. It tells the story of the first drop of blood between the two brothers “Abel and Cain” and is a stenographic record of the most important aromatic plants in the area of Hajhar, Ayhavt, and the mountainous series of the island. Among the world’s trees, the island of Socotra in Yemen is known for this tree, which is a true blessing and a sign of beauty. These trees grow in large numbers on the rocky ground of the island, which is 2000–5000 feet above sea level. According to old folk beliefs, the tree upsets the jinn and drives ghosts and bad spirits out of the bodies of humans and animals.
It gets its name from a Yemeni legend that tells of the first drop of blood and the first bleeding between the two brothers Cain and Abel. According to the legend, Cain and Abel were the first people to live on the island of Socotra, and when the first murder in history happened and blood was shed, the Dragon’s Blood tree, which is the tree of blood of the two brothers, grew from the ground.
The dragon blood tree has a strange and unique look. It has “an upturned, densely packed crown that looks like an umbrella held straight up.” This annual plant is called “dragon’s blood” because of its dark red resin. Dracaena is different from most monocots in that it has secondary growth. D. cinnabari even has growth zones that look like the tree rings on dicot trees. It has the same “dracoid habitus” as other species of Dracaena that grow into trees. It only has leaves at the ends of its youngest twigs. Every 3 or 4 years, all of its leaves fall off at the same time as new ones grow. Branching usually happens when the growth of the terminal bud stops, which can happen when the bud blooms or when something bad happens, like herbivory.
It has small, juicy berries that have between one and four seeds inside. As they grow, they go from green to black and then, when they’re ready, turn orange. Birds, like Onychognatus species, eat the nuts and spread them around. The seeds are about 4–5 mm wide and weigh about 68 mg on average. Dragon’s blood is the name for the deep red resin that comes out of the berries.
Like other monocotyledons, such as palms, the dragon’s blood tree grows from the tip of the stem, where the long, stiff leaves grow in thick rosettes (4, 5, 7). It grows branches that make an umbrella-shaped top when it gets old. Its leaves can be up to 60 cm long and 3 cm wide. The stem and branches of the dragon blood are thick and strong, and each branch splits into two parts over and over again.