Narrow-Leaf Dragon Tree
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Narrow-Leaf Dragon Tree
E Native Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Narrow-Leaf Dragon Tree
Botanical name: Dracaena angustifolia    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)
Synonyms: Dracaena fruticosa, Sansevieria flexuosa, Pleomele fruticosa

Narrow-Leaf Dragon Tree is an evergreen shrubby plant with a rhizome, producing stems 1-3 m tall with no or few branches. The stems are around 4 cm in diameter. Leaves are 15-25 long, 2-3 cm wide. The yellowish flowers are about 2 cm long. They are borne at branch-ends, in branched cluster 30-50 cm. Flowers are in clusters of 2 or 3; flower-stalk about 7-8 mm, jointed distally or near tip, perianth greenish white, about 1.9-2.3 cm; tube about 7-8 mm, tepals 1.1-1.6 cm; filaments thread-like; anthers about 2-3 mm; style 5-8 times as long as ovary. Berry is about 0.8-1.2 cm in diameter, orange, spherical. Very young leaves are cooked and eaten as a side dish with rice. The leaves can be pounded then mixed with water to give a green juice that is used for coloring an Indian pastry made of glutinous rice. Narrow-Leaf Dragon Tree is native to East Himalaya, China, SE Asia and Australia. Flowering: March-May.
Medicinal uses: The juice squeezed from the boiled leaves is drunk as a remedy for asthma and shortness of breath. A decoction of the leaves is given to people suffering weight loss and poor appetite.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg, Tapas Chakrabarty Photographed in Kalimpong, West Bengal.

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