Dracaena aletriformis, the large-leaved dragon tree is a shrub or soft wood, small tree reaching heights to 5 m (SA Tree List No. 30.9). The branching is dichotomous, occurring in equal pairs, if branching happens.
The large, strap-shaped, leathery leaves are shiny and fleshy. They have smooth, whitish, cartilaginous margins. The leaves spread and droop lower down. The small flowers are white to yellowish green, sweetly scented, borne in large, erect panicles.
The species distribution lies along the east coast of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as inland in the Lowveld areas of Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
The shade-seeking plants grow in forests on dunes and mountain slopes. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
D. aletriformis grows easily from fresh seed, especially in the shade of established trees in areas free from frost. It has become a popular garden plant. How to go about establishing it in the garden is explained in the SANBI website where instructions for growing many South African plants are given (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com; http://redlist.sanbi.org).