The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for March 2023 is the Fortune Plant, scientifically known as Dracaena fragrans (L.) Ker Gawl. Dracaena comes from the Ancient Greek Word “Drakaina” meaning female dragon due to its red stems which are likened to the color of the blood of the dragon. Fragrans is a Latin term that means perfumed or fragrant due to its fragrant flowers. The plant is from the family Asparagaceae and is native to Tropical Africa.
Fortune plant is a shrub that grows mostly in dry lowland forest areas. Its leaves are glossy green, long, and wide. The young leaves are erect and droop as they mature and become larger in size. Fortune plant flowers are fragrant, white in color with pink lines. It grows on long stems in panicles. Meanwhile, its fruit is described as a berry type of fruit, green and turns orange-red when mature and contains many seeds inside.
In Africa, this plant is commonly grown as a hedge plant and is said to be suited to frost-free climates. On the other hand, in some countries, this plant is very popular as a house plant (indoor and outdoor) and valued for its tolerance to different environmental conditions, and studies indicated that it aided in the removal of indoor pollutants!
Did you know that this plant is known as “masale” to the Chagga people of Tanzania they regard this plant as ‘Holy”?
To see the plant with a closer look, please watch the dedicated video through this link: https://youtu.be/E1oT6EnWQ4c or visit us at the Makiling Botanic Gardens.
By: AALimpiada and ACMalayba