Drago Milenario

The Drago Milenario de Icod de los Vinos is one of the most important natural symbols of Tenerife and the Canary Islands. It was declared a national monument in 1917.

It is considered to be the oldest in the Canary Islands, but as dragon trees do not have a woody trunk (no annual rings), it is very difficult to date specimens. At present, the tree is estimated to be between 800 and 900 years old.

It is 17 metres high, has a circumference of 20 metres at the base and weighs 150 tonnes, not including the roots. The trunk has a huge chimney-shaped cavity, more than 6 metres high, in which a fan has been installed to facilitate air circulation and prevent the proliferation of fungus.

The Drago Milenario has given a great boost to the village’s economy. Every day, numerous tourists come to admire it and to taste the delicious wines and liqueurs on offer here.

For thousands of years, the mythical Drago de Canarias (dracaena draco) has been surrounded by a halo of mystery that still lingers today. Legend has it that dragons transform into dragons after they die.

There are several impressive dragon trees in the Canary Islands. The botanist and naturalist Humboldt observed a huge dragon tree in the gardens of Franchy (La Orotava) in the 18th century, 25 metres high and 23 metres in circumference, but it was blown away by the wind in 1867.

Dragon tree blood

The sap of the dragon tree, which is obtained by cutting the bark, turns red when it comes into contact with air, which is why it is also known as “dragon’s blood”. This sap has been highly prized since ancient Rome, where it was used as a dye and panacea for all diseases. Interest in “dragon’s blood” continued on the European continent until the Middle Ages.

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