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Croton draco - Dragon's blood


Native to:



South America, Colombia, Panama, Mexico

Moist and wet forests, sides of hills. Elevation from 600-1600 meters above sea level. 15 meter tall tree.

Croton draco - Dragon's blood

Ecological value:

Tolerates strong winds but not coastal exposure. Can also grow in shade. Fast growing species. Has a broad crown and can supply a great amount of shade, intercrops very well with other tree breeds.

Material uses:

Red sap is used to make scarlet colored dye. Many Croton species contain red resin in their stems, in addition to three other distinct genera of Dracaena, Daemonorops and Pterocarpus. Timber used for beams.

Edible uses:

No record on this species.

Medicinal use:

Anti-tumor, antiviral, strengthens teeth, treats ulcers, heals wounds. Oil from seeds can be used as a purgative.

Other details:

Grows best in well drained soil but can grow in a wide range of soils. Listed as a vulnerable species. Species in this genus are used as food plants by Lepidoptera species. The moth Schinia citronellas feeds exclusively on this plant.


Sam Schillinger/Christine Facella


“Croton Draco Schltdl. & Cham. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online.
“Croton Draco - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d.
Eastaugh, Nicholas; Walsh, Valentine; Chaplin, Tracy; Siddal, Ruth, 'Nature's Palette the Science of Plant Color.' Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004
“Croton (Plant).” 2023. Wikipedia. September 6, 2023.
Image source: João Medeiros.

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