Dracaena fragrans (L.) Ker Gawl.

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Dracaena fragrans

Photo: Bart Wursten
Lower forested slope below Nhandors Peak, Mt Gorongosa

Dracaena fragrans

Photo: Bart Wursten
Lower forested slope below Nhandors Peak, Mt Gorongosa

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Synonyms: Aletris fragrans L.
Dracaena deremensis Engl.
Sansevieria fragrans (L.) Jacq.
Common names: Forest dracaena (English)
Frequency: Locally very common
Status: Native
Shrub-like plant with mostly herbaceous or soft-wooded unbranched stems, which may be erect or scrambling. Leaves leathery, crowded in terminal rosettes. Inflorescences a terminal panicle, whitish to purple.
Notes: - The flowers only open in the early evening.
- Swynnerton's Robin build their nests almost exclusively among the leaves of this species and the populations of this uncommon bird are closely linked to the forests where Dracaena fragrans is dominant, such as Chirinda Forest and the Vumba Mountains in Zimbabwe or Mt Gorongosa in Mozambique.
- This species is said to have been recorded from the Maputo Division at the Jardin Tunduru (Balsinhas 2388, K,LMA). This is likely concerning an introduced plant but it is not known whether it is a naturalised specimen.
Derivation of specific name: fragrans: fragrant
Habitat: Understorey of montane forest, where it may form dense stands
Altitude range: 900 - 2000 m
Flowering time:Dec
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Tropical Africa
Mozambique distribution: MS,M
Growth form(s): Shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Artitropa erinnys nyasae (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 59. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 23.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 21.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 232.

La Croix, I. (2010). Dracaenaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(2) Pages 15 - 17.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 90.

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 71.

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Page 99.

Other sources of information about Dracaena fragrans:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Dracaena fragrans
Flora of Malawi: Dracaena fragrans
Flora of Zambia: Dracaena fragrans
Flora of Zimbabwe: Dracaena fragrans
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Dracaena fragrans

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Dracaena fragrans
African Plant Database: Dracaena fragrans
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Dracaena fragrans
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Dracaena fragrans
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Dracaena fragrans
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Dracaena fragrans
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Dracaena fragrans
JSTOR Plant Science: Dracaena fragrans
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Dracaena fragrans
Plants of the World Online: Dracaena fragrans
Tropicos: Dracaena fragrans
Wikipedia: Dracaena fragrans

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Dracaena fragrans.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=114620, retrieved 28 September 2023

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