Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dragon Tree

In the City Botanic Gardens near the Garden's Cafe is the Dragon Tree. The particular species of Dragon Tree is the Dracaena draco, or the Canary Islands Dragon Tree.

This particular tree does originate from the Canary Islands. The Garden's original curator, Walter Hill, planted it in 1862. The tree can live up to 400 years, and is very slow growing and does not branch or flower until it is 30 years old. The tree was damaged in 1984 during a storm, and you can see the poles which have been used to stabilise it to help prolong its life. Dragon tree wood is very heavy with red sap that oozes from the trunk when cut. This resin was used by 18th century Italian violin-makers for varnishing their instruments. It was also used for staining marble.

The tree is quite spectacular and sits at a high point in the Garden flanked by part of the rainforest section. The lawn runs down the hill from that point, providing views back to the city. I also have to make a comment about the Cafe. As much as I love that their is a cafe in the garden's, with magnificent views, they really do need to consider their pricing at the kiosk. Over double the normal price for a medium cup of Coke really is exploiting those who want to go and enjoy the serenity but get thirsty on a hot day.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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1 comment:

Pamela said...

Fun to see one of these so far from home, yet seemingly doing fine. I happen to live not far from the largest and oldest specimen known, here in Tenerife. That is said to be between 800 and 1,000 years old, so yours may survive longer than you think.