Kaweesak's Dragon Tree: Mother of Dragons Top 10 New Species of 2014Top 10 New Species of 2014
About the Kaweesak's Dragon Tree
Name: Dracaena kaweesakii
How it made the Top 10: Sounding like something out of Game of Thrones and standing 12 meters (nearly 40 feet) tall, it's hard to believe the dragon tree went unnoticed this long. Beautiful, soft, sword-shaped leaves with white edges and cream-colored flowers with bright orange filaments are the hallmarks of this impressive plant. The dragon tree is found in the limestone mountains of the Loei and Lop Buri Provinces in Thailand and may also be found in nearby Burma. Valued as a horticultural plant, its small number (perhaps 2,500), and the fact that it grows on limestone that is extracted for the manufacture of concrete, has earned this species a preliminary conservation status of endangered.
Etymology: This species is named for collaborator, friend and co-author Toi (Kaweesak Keeratkiat) in recognition of his extensive knowledge of Chan diversity.
Type material: Holotype at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Isotypes at the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department in Bangkok, Thailand and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, U.K.
Type locality: Khao Wong Chan Daeng Mountains, Lam San Ti, Lop Buri Province, Central Thailand
Reference: Wilkin P, Suksathan P, Keeratikiat K, van Welzen P, Wiland-Szymanska J. 2013. A new species from Thailand and Burma, Dracaena kaweesakii Wilkin & Suksathan (Asparagaceae subfamily Nolinoideae). PhytoKeys 26: 101–112.