One of the neatest features of the United States Botanic Gardens were their varying biomes found throughout the garden. They had different sections divided by solid doors. As you walked through each it felt as if you were actually entering an entirely different part of the world. In each climate they had the plants that would be found there.
This particular plant, the Dragon Tree, was found in the “World Deserts” section of the garden.
Here is an excerpt from the United States Botanic Gardens website about this interesting tree:
Dracaena draco, or dragon tree, is a very vulnerable plant found only in (endemic to) the arid, rocky mountain ranges of the Canary Islands, Madeira and Cape Verde. Though the dragon tree is now a common houseplant and garden specimen, there are very few naturally occurring individuals remaining in its narrow ecological range. The dark red sap of Dracaena draco was regarded for centuries in European legends as “the blood of dragons,” and was often used for its supposed magical and medicinal qualities. This resin is still used today to produce incense and varnishes used to stain and polish wood, including that of Stradivarius violins.