Song of India/Dracaena reflexa

As versatile as its name is poetic, Dracaena reflexa or “Song of India” is easy to identify because of its telltale green, lime, and yellow leaves. These plants are easy to grow in both high and low light and absorb undesirables like formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene.

Song of India / Dracaena reflexa Plant

Dracaena reflexa, commonly called pleomele or song of India, is a species of Dracaena which is a tropical tree native to Madagascar, Mauritius, and other nearby islands of the Indian Ocean. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant and houseplant, valued for its richly coloured, evergreen leaves, and thick, irregular stems.

While it may reach a height of 4–5 m, rarely 6 m in ideal, protected locations, D. reflexa is usually much smaller, especially when grown as a houseplant. It is slow-growing and upright in habit, tending to an oval shape with an open crown. The lanceolate leaves are simple, spirally arranged, 5–20 cm long and 1.5–5 cm broad at the base, with a parallel venation and entire margin; they grow in tight whorls and are a uniform dark green.

The flowers are small, clustered, and usually white, appearing in mid winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are especially showy. D. reflexa var. angustifolia (syn. D. marginata) differs in having a magenta tint to its flowers, a shrubby habit, and olive green leaves.