Dracaena draco is a monocot with a tree-like growth habit currently placed in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoidae). It is not a real tree. When young it has a single stem. At about 10–15 years of age the stem stops growing and produces a flower spike with white, lily-like perfumed flowers, followed by coral berries. Soon a crown of terminal buds appears and the plant starts branching. Each branch grows for about 10–15 years and re-branches, so a mature plant has an umbrella-like habit. It grows slowly, requiring about ten years to reach 1.2 metres (4 ft) in height but can grow much faster.
The Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens The idea for a garden came from Mr. Wrigley’s wife, Ada. In 1935, she supervised Pasadena horticulturalist Albert Conrad, who planted the original Desert Plant Collection. Catalina Island’s temperate marine climate made it possible to showcase plants from every corner of the earth. In 1969, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation expanded and revitalized the garden’s 37.85 acres. Along with the new plantings came a new attitude. In the same way that the Wrigley Memorial uses primarily native building materials, the Garden places a special emphasis on California island endemic plants. (Plants, which grow naturally on one or more of the California islands, but nowhere else in the world.) Many of these plants are extremely rare, and some are on the Endangered Species list. The Memorial Garden is particularly concerned with the six Catalina endemics – plants, which grow naturally only on Catalina Island. The Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation maintains a special interest in the preservation of all Catalina endemics, including the rare Catalina Ironwood.
When the bark or leaves are cut they secrete a reddish resin, one of the sources of the substance known as dragon's blood, used to stain wood, such as of Stradivarius violins. It also has a number of traditional medicinal uses.