Song of India13/04/2021
Dracaena reflexa (commonly called Song of India or Song of Jamaica) is a tropical shrub or small tree that is native to Madagascar, Mauritius and some additional nearby islands in the Indian Ocean. Although plants in the wild may grow to 18′ tall or more, houseplants will typically grow much shorter (upright-oval to 3 – 6′ tall). Container plants usually have multiple stems. Species plants have dark green narrow-lanceolate to elliptic leaves (to 4 – 6″ long) with parallel veins. Leaves are spirally arranged in whorls. Lower leaves will die off over time, revealing interesting stems. Tiny white flowers in clusters are not particularly showy. Flowers are sometimes followed by orange-red berries. Indoor plants infrequently flower and fruit. Genus name from Greek means female dragon. Flower inflorescences are often reflexed (bent downward), hence the specific epithet. The common name of Song of India is in an apparent reference to this plant’s native range in the Indian Ocean.
Dracaena reflexa is a popular ornamental plant, both in the landscape and the home. It can be enjoyed as a specimen plant, accent, or pruned to create a border. Several cultivars have been selected, particularly variegated clones with cream and yellow-green margins. It performs well as a houseplant, tolerating infrequent waterings.
The plant can be grown in virtually any pattern, with the most popular being bush, straight cane, staggered cane, tree form, and custom character forms.
It is one of the plants used in the NASA Clean Air Study and has shown to help remove formaldehyde. It is an effective air cleaner and is said to be among the best plants for removing xylene and trichloroethylene.