Vand. ex L.
Dracaena () is a genus of about 120 species of trees and succulent shrubs. In the APG IV classification system, it is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae). It has also formerly been separated (sometimes with Cordyline) into the family Dracaenaceae or placed in the Agavaceae (now Agavoideae).
The name dracaena is derived from the romanized form of the Ancient Greek - drakaina, "female dragon".
The majority of the species are native to Africa, southern Asia through to northern Australia, with two species in tropical Central America. The segregate genus Pleomele is now generally included in Dracaena. The genus Sansevieria is closely related, and has recently been synonymized under Dracaena in the Kubitzki system.
Species of Dracaena have a secondary thickening meristem in their trunk, termed Dracaenoid thickening by some authors, which is quite different from the thickening meristem found in dicotyledonous plants. This characteristic is shared with members of the Agavoideae and Xanthorrhoeoideae among other members of the Asparagales.
Dracaena species can be classified in two growth types: treelike dracaenas (Dracaena fragrans, Dracaena draco, Dracaena cinnabari), which have aboveground stems with a single cluster of leaves at the end of each stem and rhizomatous dracaenas (Dracaena trifasciata, Dracaena angolensis), which have underground rhizomes and leaves on the surface (ranging from straplike and moderately thin to thick and cylindrical).
This section needs to be updated.June 2017)(
Some shrubby species, such as D. fragrans, D. surculosa, D. marginata, and D. sanderiana, are popular as houseplants. Many of these are toxic to pets, though not humans, according to the ASPCA among others. Rooted stem cuttings of D. sanderiana are widely marketed[by whom?] in Australia, the US and the UK as "lucky bamboo", although only superficially resembling true bamboos.
A naturally occurring bright red resin, dragon's blood, is collected from D. draco and, in ancient times, from D. cinnabari. Modern dragon's blood is however more likely to be from the unrelated Daemonorops rattan palms.[a] It also has a social functions in marking graves, sacred sites and farm plots in many African societies