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Issue 2, 2004
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Raman spectroscopic analysis of dragon's blood resins—basis for distinguishing between Dracaena (Convallariaceae), Daemonorops (Palmae) and Croton (Euphorbiaceae)

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Abstract

“Dragon′s blood” is the name applied to the deep-red coloured resin obtained from various plants. The original source in Roman times, used by many cultures and esteemed for its depth of colour and mystical association, was the dragon tree Dracaena cinnabari (Convallariaceae), found only on the Indian Ocean island of Socotra, (Yemen). Additional sources emerged later, including another species of Dracaena, D. draco, from the Canary Islands and Madeira, and species in the genera Daemonorops (Palmae) from South East Asia and Croton (Euphorbiaceae) from tropical parts of both the New and Old Worlds. In this study, examples of dragon's blood resins from the Economic Botany Collections at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, dating from 1851 to 1993, have been analysed non-destructively using Raman spectroscopy. The Raman spectra of well-documented, provenanced specimens have been used to establish the source of specimens of questionable or unknown origin. It has also been possible from the Raman spectra to indicate whether processing of the resins has been undertaken in the preparation of the specimens before their deposition at Kew.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Sep 2003, accepted on 03 Dec 2003 and first published on 17 Dec 2003


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B311072A
Citation: Analyst, 2004,129, 134-138
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    Raman spectroscopic analysis of dragon's blood resins—basis for distinguishing between Dracaena (Convallariaceae), Daemonorops (Palmae) and Croton (Euphorbiaceae)

    H. G. M. Edwards, L. F. C. de Oliveira and H. D. V. Prendergast, Analyst, 2004, 129, 134
    DOI: 10.1039/B311072A

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