Dragon tree

TELMO ROVIRA

This is, possibly, the most emblematic symbol of the Island of Tenerife and is present in legends, book titles, names of social and sports clubs, and in the island’s literature. This slow-growing plant, which can take almost a decade to grow just one centimetre, is characterised by its single trunk, which is smooth when the plant is young and becomes wrinkled with age. It is the only plant in the world with red – rather than white -sap. Its flowers are white, with rounded, orange fruit. Although specimens of dragon trees can be found in squares and gardens of the island, they are normally found at an altitude of over 600 metres. Whoever visits Tenerife has an unmissable appointment with the famous dragon tree of Icod de Los Vinos, with its height of 18 metres and perimeter of around 30 metres. Experts estimate that its age is between 500 and 600 years. Other well-known dragon trees are the Sietefuentes in Los Realejos and the one in Tacoronte.

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