I purchased my first Dracaena (Dracaena marginata) a couple of years ago. It was one of those small pots at Wal-Mart with 3 or 4 shoots in it. I think I divided them up in as many other pots and let them grow with some other plants.
About a year later my mother-in-law was so kind as to give me her mature (about 4 foot tall) half-dead Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii.’ There wasn't really anything wrong with it except that it had been sitting in a sunny window and not watered for a month or two. After a little bit of care and some shadier conditions it popped out rather nicely and even grew two new shoots from the soil. I was pretty excited about that, because I know that you can "fill out" a Dracaena by chopping it's head off and letting multiple shoots grow from the top of your cut. But I hadn't done any unnecessary chopping and new plants were growing. I decided to add my Dracaena marginatas from their various locales to my newly acquired, no longer half-dead Dracaena. This pot was starting to look lush and full.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’ shoots (foreground) and Dracaena marginata (left rear)"][/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="My Dracaena collection - posed in the front yard for lighting purposes."][/caption]
It wasn't long before I saw another color variety of the Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’ - the lemon lime variety, which has yellow where the other has white. Of course, I bought the pot of small starts and added them to the potted Dracaena forest, as well.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="380" caption="close-up of Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’ leaf"][/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="380" caption="close-up of Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii Lemon Lime’ leaf"][/caption]
And soon I found what looked like another color variation of my original Dracaena marginata. Whereas the D. marginata has an overall dark green and red coloration, this variety was lighter, with some pink and white. Now that I have researched the plant a little, I think it is actually Cordyline australis 'Pink Stripe.' This really surprises me, because it looks just like my Dracaena marginata, except for color. What surprises me even more is that the genera Dracaena and Cordyline are not even in the same botanical family. How can this be!?! I hope the botanical gods can forgive me for tainting my "Dracaena Forest" with a Cordyline... The good news is that Dracaena australis is a synonym for Cordyline australis, which basically means that the Cordyline which I mistook for a Dracaena is commonly mistaken as such. Dracaena australis is not a valid botanical name, but at least others have seen the same likeness and note it's odd botanical placement in the Cordyline genus. Not all flora and fauna fall into the neat little categories that mankind tries to use for them.
[Update: Mr Subjunctive assures me this new plant is also a Dracaena - not a Cordyline - just as I had suspected. The plant is probably Dracaena marginata 'Bicolor.' I shall have to change my plant listing.]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Dracaena marginata"][/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="314" caption="Cordyline australis 'Pink Stripe', which looks like a Dracaena to me. Another Dracaena marginata variety - possibly D. marginata 'Bicolor'"][/caption]
Just a week ago I came upon another variety, Dracaena reflexa 'Anita,' which looks just like the two above, except that it is solid green. The plant was 4 separate stalks about 3 feet tall in a large pot and selling for just $3. Of course I bought it and plan to move the shortest of the 4 plants into my Dracaeana forest planting.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="330" caption="Dracaena reflexa 'Anita'"][/caption]
I would like to add maybe one more color variety to this somewhat crowded pot, but I haven't found the right one yet. I was thinking there was a dark red solid Dracaena available, but I haven't found one since I took on this project. It could be that it was a mislabeled Cordyline that I saw. I'll have to keep my eyes open.