Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Dragon tree Luganda: Mpaanyi, mulamula Runyoro: Mulamula Rutoro: Muramura.

+ Tree Species

Dracaena fragrans

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Dragon tree is indigenous to Uganda. This is one of several East African species in a monocotyledon family, unusual in having secondary thickening in the stems and with leaves growing spirally from the stem. It is abundant as an understorey shrub of wet, lower-altitude tropical rain forest. Common throughout south Mengo, often forming a dense thicket that excludes other shrubs. In Uganda, it has also been cultivated over a long period and planted by tombs and shrines and as a traditional boundary marker or hedge. In Kampala, Dragon tree can be found within Makerere university among other places.

+ Description

An evergreen shrub or tree, usually 3-5 m (15-18 m). Vertical leafy stems grow from a tangled mass of horizontal wood y stems at ground level. 

BARK: smooth, pale, ringed by leaf scars, soft and juicy if cut.

LEAVES: usually 30-50 cm long, 4-10 cm wide, base narrow and surrounding the stem, tip pointed, leathery, arranged spirally and not markedly clustered at ends of branches (as D. steudneri).

FLOWERS: flower stalk erect, usually 18-25 cm (40-100 cm), mostly unbranched, flowers in dense clusters, very fragrant, petals white or pink with a central darker pink stripe, anthers yellow, flower tubular with 6 lobes in 2 whorls.

FRUIT: rounded orange fleshy berries, about 2 cm, sometimes lobed, on thick stalks.

+ Uses

An ornamental tree.

Agroforestry: can be planted as a hedge, used in boundary marking.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings

+ Management

Fast growing. The plant is managed from cuttings or wildings as a boundary marker or as a hedge.

+ Remarks

There is a good market in Dracaena cuttings being exported to Germany where they are potted and sold as indoor plants. Some African Dracaena have valuable resins which are extracted for sale. Roots are reported to have medicinal uses.

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