*Note- Unfortunately this tree was removed on May 11th, 2018 due to significant trunk decay and only after multiple failure events occurred in a short period of time.*
Fort Lauderdale's Dragon Blood Tree is located at 201 North Andrews Avenue along NW 2nd Street. These photos were taken in July, 2012.
The Dragon Blood Tree is native to to the Socotra archipelago in the Indian Ocean and is sometimes called the Socotra Dragon Tree. Unlike most monocot (palms and grasses) plants, the Dracaenaceae display secondary growth. D. cinnabari even has growth zones resembling tree rings found in dicot tree species.
Dragon's blood, the crimson red resin or sap, has long had many uses. The root yields a gum-resin, and is used in gargle water, as a stimulant, astringent, as a breath freshener, in toothpaste, and even for gluing pottery. Around the Mediterranean basin it is used as a wool dye, and making it a nice ingredient for lipsticks. The root itself is used to treat rheumatism. Because of the belief that it is the blood of the dragon it is also used in ritual magic and alchemy.
The unique flora and fauna of the Socotra Archipelago is considered a World Heritage Site and a Global 200 Eco-region, and efforts are being made to protect this tree and many other species.
Our Urban Forester recommend the Wikipedia entry on the The Dragon Blood Tree.
BBC Nature has a wonderful page about the Dragon Blood Tree, including dramatic photos of the tree in its native habitat,and an educational video.