Dracaena spicata Roxb., Fl. Ind. ed. 1832 2: 157 1832. (syn: Dracaena wallichii Kunth; Draco spicata (Roxb.) Kuntze; Pleomele spicata (Roxb.) N.E.Br.)
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Assam to Myanmar, Andaman Islands; Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Myanmar as per POWO;
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Roxb. Fl. Ind. ii. 157 ; arboreous, leaves 6-18 by 1.1/2-2 in. very broadly petioled elliptic or broadly oblanceolate finely acuminate, raceme long or short simple or branched at the base, flowers fascicled very shortly pedicelled, fruit pisiform 1/2 in. diam., or 3-lobed and 3/4 in. fleshy. Kunth Enum. v. 10 ; Wall. Cat. 5146 ; Regel Revis. Drac. 44 ; D. Wallichii, Kunth in Act. Acad. Berol. 1842, 26.

SILHET, Wallich, CHITTAGONG, Roxburgh, SOUTH ANDAMAN ISLANDS, Kurz.
I am unable to unravel the synonymy and habitats of this species and D. terniflora, which however, according to Roxburgh and Kurz are very different plants. Baker (Journ. Bot. 1873, 263, and Journ. Linn. Soc. xiv. 532) unites them (as D. spicata), together with D. aurantiaca, Wall., and gives its distribution as from the eastern Himalaya to the Nilghiris, Malacca, and the Congo River in Western Africa. Of these the Himalayan (for which Griffith, Wallich, and I are cited), is an error, as none of us collected it there. On the other hand it is probably a Malayan species. Roxburgh describes the flower as numerous, and sessile in fascicles, pale greenish, cleft about half way down, and the ripe berries as deep reddish orange. Kurz says the flowers are in twos or threes, an inch long, greenish yellow and the berries glossy crimson.
(From The Flora of British India as per IBIS Flora)
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Dracaena elliptica Thunb. & Dalm. (Asperagaceae) : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Please find an image of the same from the Andaman Islands.


Dracaena elliptica posted by me from Andamans is actually D. spicata Roxb.
This is for your kind information please.


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Re: Palm : 7 posts by 5 authors. 4 images.
From Rajnagar, Kumarghat,Tripura


looks like a Dracaena of Asparagaceae subfamily Nolinoideae most likely: dracaena terniflora. Dinesh has shown a nice case
my question this is what i think but i would like to see the pic of whole plant, where these fruiting branches drooping?? what was the original stem look like ie Habit and habitat, when /year +month did you get these fruits’ picture, were you there also for the flowering? etc etc
please respond to my questions.

I agree with … It is Dracaena.


nice to see fruits, ya? i see flowers here and then am never around for the fruiting…


Thanks, … for the id. To me also appear close to images at Dracaena terniflora Roxb. 


Dracaena terniflora posted from Tripura and Kalimpong are actually D. elliptica Thunb. & Dalm., a widespread and variable species.
This is for your kind information please.

Leaves appear to be sessile! If yes, then D. angustifolis.


Or can it be Dracaena spicata Roxb. as the leaves are short and broad as per images herein and as per GBIF specimens from India– onetwothreefour ?



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Dracaena terniflora Roxb. … Asparagaceae ~ Liliaceae ~ Agavaceae ~ Dracaena
at Castle Rock, Uttara Kannada on April 23, 2011
at Yana Rocks, Uttara Kannada on December 15, 2012   
at Kadra, Uttara Kannada on May 25, 2013 

Dracaena terniflora posted by … from South India is possibly D. thwaitesii Regel, the only wild species known to occur in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. This is for your kind information please.

Thank you very much … for suggesting this possibility. I had got this ID from … I searched for Dracaena thwaitesii Regel in Google to know more about it; but was not able to find any results in Indian context.
Dracaena terniflora Roxb., however, is listed in Flora of Maharashtra, distributed in Konkan and Kolhapur.
It is also listed in Gamble’s Flora (screenshot seen in Flora of Peninsular India).
I suppose you have given us information based on revision of  the genus.


D. terniflora, originally described from Sylhet in Bangladesh is a highly misinterpreted species. My observations are based on examination of type specimens.
The type of D. thwaitesii shows simple inflorescence with often one or two branches near the base and small flowers, up to 10 mm long. Your images from Karnataka agree well with that.
D. terniflora bears much larger flowers and paniculate inflorescence.
I will reach back to you with final conclusions in near future.

Thank you very much … I am convinced with your views. I will correct my notes at flickr accordingly.


Well, Dracaena terniflora Roxb. is a highly misinterpreted species. It is now a synonym of D. elliptica Thunb. & Dalm.
As regards the images posted here, these are identifiable as D. spicata Roxb., characterized by the simple inflorescences. However, these images show that the inflorescences have one or two very short branches towards the base, i.e. near the apex of the peduncle. Thus it appears to be a slightly divergent variant of D. spicata and it requires further critical field investigation to ascertain whether this difference merits a distinct varietal status for this plant..


thank you very very much for providing the ID and pointing to the slight variation of the posted plant from D. spicata Roxb.


Does D.spicata have distribution in India.
To me your earlier suggestion of Dracaena thwaitesii, looks much better.


Dracaena spicata is fairly common in India while D. thwaitesii is less abundant and easily recognizable by the smaller flowers, less than 10 mm in length.


Should we finally take it as D.spicata?


Yes, please!


As regards your observation “However, these images show that the inflorescences have one or two very short branches towards the base, i.e. near the apex of the peduncle”,

I think the POWO specimen matches with … infloescence.



Please find attached the image of the lectotype of Dracaena spicata Roxb. [Icones Roxburghianae, No. 1231 (CAL)].
1 attachment



via Species‎ > ‎D‎ > Dracaena terniflora Roxb. … family: Asparagaceae ~ Liliaceae ~ Agavaceae ~ Dracaenaceae

Flowers of India Discussions at efloraofindia more views in flickr more views on Google Earth
dra-SEE-nah — dragon … Dave’s Botanary
ter-ni-FLOR-uh — from the Latin, meaning flowers in threes … Dave’s Botanary 
commonly known asdwarf dracaenawild dracaena • Kannadaಕೆಂಪು ಬೇರು kempu beru • Malayalamമഞ്ഞക്കാന്ത manjakkantha • Tuluಕೆಂಪುಥ ಬೇರು kemputha beru 
botanical namesDracaena terniflora Roxb. … synonymsPleomele terniflora (Roxb.) Merr. … The Plants List (2013). Version 1.1. 
April 23, 2011 … Castle Rock, Uttara Kannada 


We have very few images of this species. If you have more images, pl. post.


Very few photos with me; I have put them in this post.


Dracaena terniflora posted by … from South India is possibly D. thwaitesii Regel, the only wild species known to occur in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. This is for your kind information please.

… had provided the ID while we were exploring some area of Castlerock..

Here are some places where I found Dracaena terniflora Roxb. mentioned distributed in south India …

  1. Thesis: Exploration and elucidation of traditional medicinal plants of erstwhile tulunadu and surrounding area of kerala and karnataka … Researcher: Subrahmanya, Prasad K, Guide: Raveendran, K
  2. Kerala Plants
  3. Flora of Peninsular India

Since D. thwaitesii Regel. is a possibility, we will wait for comments to revise my notes at flickr.


After rigorous review, our paper on the taxonomy of Indian Dracaena has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming  P. Lakshminarasimhan memorial issue of JETB. I will send you a copy of that once published.You had kindly allowed me to reproduce your photographs of Dracaena and we have reproduced two of them with due acknowledgement.
A number of confusions have been clarified in this paper.

Hearty congratulations dear …
Thanks very much. I will revise my notes at flickr accordingly.

I hope your paper on the taxonomy of Indian Dracaena has been published in the P. Lakshminarasimhan memorial issue of JETB. Is it possible for you to share the paper with eFI (if it is in public domain) OR share the URL to the site where the paper is stored. It will definitely throw light on its species: terniflora VS thwaitesii.


Unfortunately the journal JETB is running late. Even the proof has not been received. It will take some more time. I will definitely send a copy when published because … kindly allowed us to reproduce his photographs.


I followed up because I am keen to know the natural distribution of the two species.


Reply from another post of the same plant:
Well, Dracaena terniflora Roxb. is a highly misinterpreted species. It is now a synonym of D. elliptica Thunb. & Dalm.
As regards the images posted here, these are identifiable as D. spicata Roxb., characterized by the simple inflorescences. However, these images show that the inflorescences have one or two very short branches towards the base, i.e. near the apex of the peduncle. Thus it appears to be a slightly divergent variant of D. spicata and it requires further critical field investigation to ascertain whether this difference merits a distinct varietal status for this plant..


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