India’s first dragon blood-oozing tree discovered in Assam
The research team led by Assam forest officer Jatindra Sarma has discovered Dracaena cambodiana – a dragon tree species in the Dongka Sarpo area of West Karbi Anglong. Researchers took 4 years of fieldwork and study to classify the plant as a dragon tree species whose sap turns bright red after coming in contact with air. This is for the first time that a dragon tree species has been reported from India. Dracaena cambodiana is an important medicinal plant as well as an ornamental tree. It is a major source of dragon’s blood, a precious traditional medicine in China. Several antifungal and antibacterial compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids, etc., have been extracted from various parts of the plant. In India, the Dracaena genus belonging to the family Asparagaceae is represented by nine species and two varieties in the Himalayan region, the northeast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But Dracaena cambodiana is the only true dragon tree species.