Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Croton lechleri - Mull.Arg.

Common Name Sangre De Grado, Dragon's blood
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Secondary forest.
Range S. America - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Croton lechleri Sangre De Grado, Dragon


Dick Culbert flickr
Croton lechleri Sangre De Grado, Dragon
por natikka arteyfotografia.com.ar

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Sangre de Grado (Croton lechleri) is a flowering plant with a broad but open crown native to north western South America. It grows up to 20 meters in height with bole diameter of usually 30 cm. It is also known as Sangre de Drago. It is characterized by its thick red latex that has medicinal properties. It is used as a liquid bandage for wounds and other skin-related injuries and disorders. It is an effective antiviral treatment and is also used in the treatment of tumours. Native to northwestern South America. Also known as: Sangre de Grado (Peruvian Spanish), Sangre de Drago (Ecuadorian Spanish), Dragon's blood.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Croton lechleri is an evergreen Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Croton draco cordatus M?ll.Arg. Oxydectes lechleri (M?ll.Arg.) Kuntze

Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Sangre de grado is a common name for several trees in the genus Croton - all have a red sap and can be used interchangeably. The red sap or latex (and also its bark) has a long history of indigenous use in the rainforest and in South America. The curative power of the sap was widely known throughout the indigenous tribes of Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. Modern research has shown that it is a very effective treatment for a wide range of injuries and disorders, particularly relating to the skin; both internal and external ulcers; is an effective antiviral and also helps in the treatment of tumours[ 318 ]. The resin or sap is a storehouse of phytochemicals including proanthocyanidins (antioxidants), simple phenols, diterpenes, phytosterols, and biologically active alkaloids and lignans Scientists have attributed many of the biologically active properties of the sap (especially its wound-healing capacity) to two main 'active' constituents: an alkaloid named taspine, and a lignan named dimethylcedrusine[ 318 ]. Taspine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antiviral actions, and to be active against the herpes virus[ 318 ]. The lignan ?dimethylcedrusine? has been shown to play a central role in the resin?s effective wound-healing action. The study revealed that the crude resin stimulated contraction of wounds, helped in the formation of a crust/scab at the wound site, regenerated skin more rapidly, and assisted in the formation of new collagen[ 318 ]. Other phytochemicals, including phenolic compounds, proanthocyanadins, and diterpenes, have shown potent antibacterial activity (against E. Coli and Bacillus subtilis) as well as wound-healing properties[ 318 ]. Research has shown that the resin is a potent, cost-effective treatment for gastrointestinal ulcers and distress via antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and sensory afferent-dependent actions[ 318 ]. The resin has also shown an in vitro effect against stomach cancer and colon cancer cells[ 318 ]. It inhibits the growth of a human myelogenous leukaemia cell line and also prevents cells from mutating in test tube studies[ 318 ]. The sap is antibacterial, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antipruritic, antitumor, haemostatic and vulnerary[ 318 ]. It is used internally in the treatment of intestinal and stomach ulcers; upper respiratory viruses; stomach viruses; and HIV[ 318 , 355 ]. For internal use, the traditional remedy is 10 - 15 drops in a small amount of liquid, taken 1-3 times daily (be prepared, however; it tastes quite dreadful)[ 318 ]. It is taken as a douche for relieving vaginal discharge[ 318 ]. The sap is painted on wounds to staunch bleeding, to accelerate healing, and to seal and protect injuries from infection. The sap dries quickly and forms a barrier, much like a ?second skin?. It is used as a treatment on wounds, insect bites and stings, skin disorders, fractures, and haemorrhoids., Other uses include treating inflamed or infected gums, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth, for haemorrhaging after childbirth, and for a wide range of skin disorders[ 318 , 355 ]. For external use, the resin is rubbed directly on the affected area several times daily and allowed to dry. Please note: the resin is red! It will temporarily stain the skin a reddish-brown (which will wash off), but it will permanently stain clothing. Rubbing the resin in the palm of the hand first or directly where applied will thicken the resin into a thin, lighter coloured paste, which helps form a second skin on top of a wound or rash and reduces staining[ 318 ].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The tree has an open, though broad crown. It intercrops well with smaller trees[ 355 ]. Other Uses: None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Grows best in a well-drained, fertile soil[ 355 ]. A fast-growing tree[ 355 ].

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - Seedlings are very delicate and frequently die or succumb to grasshoppers in the wild[ 355 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Sangre de Grado (Croton lechleri). Also known as: Sangre de Grado (Peruvian Spanish), Sangre de Drago (Ecuadorian Spanish), Dragon's blood.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Native to northwestern South America

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Chrozophora tinctoriaDyer's Croton, GiradolPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Croton megalocarpusCroton treeTree25.0 10-12 FLMNM024
Croton palanostigmaSangre De Grado, Dragon's bloodTree12.0 10-12 FLMNM042
Croton salutarisSangre De Grado, Dragon's bloodTree12.0 10-12 FLMNM040
Croton tigliumCroton Oil Plant. Croton, Purging croton.Tree7.0 10-12 MLMHNDM032

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Mull.Arg.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Croton lechleri  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.