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A drawing of a Sapphire Dragon Tree with different stages of growth.

Ever since the West first made contact with the East, its culture has enriched our lives. From the beauty of exotic silks and ceramics to the delicacy of oriental cuisine, the essence of China has enhanced our time. But we’ve had to wait for the modern science of tissue culture before we could experience one of the East’s greatest treasures in our own garden.

A Bejeweled Tree

The 20th-century wonder is the Powton Sapphire Dragon. An exotic decorative shade tree which in spring is bejeweled with dazzling spikes of sapphire hued flowers. What makes this jewel from the timeless East such a gem for the hurried West is that it takes no time at all to grow.

Quickly Luxuriant

A close up of purple flowers on a Sapphire Dragon Tree.
The Powton Sapphire Dragon producess masses of purple flowers.

In its first year, a Powton Sapphire Dragon seedling can exceed three meters. In its second year, five meters with the appearance of its first bloom. In its third year, it becomes a substantial shade tree with a final height of eight meters. A three-year-old Powton® Sapphire Dragon can have up to 30 racemes, each one of them a meter long and half a meter wide, bearing 300 frilly orchid-like flowers that will perfume a garden with its delicate fragrance. There’s more: the Powton® is deciduous. This means that it drops its leaves during the winter allowing sunlight into your garden when it needs it the most. The Powton® Sapphire Dragon refoliates in the warmer months with enormous lush and exotic leaves that create luxuriant cool summer shade, but that’s just part of the story.

The Tradition

The Powton Sapphire Dragon is a specially bred and select form of Paulownia kawakami (Paulownia) a native of China. For centuries the Chinese have grown them for more than just decoration. Their highly prized timber has long been used to make fineries, from hand made furniture to clogs and even musical instruments. In addition to their earthly qualities, these trees have engaged the minds of men who think on a higher plane. In 1000AD a Buddhist scholar from central China, Chen Chu, pondered on the dwindling supply of precious timber. After careful study, he devised a way farmers could cultivate the Powton as a fast-growing productive timber tree.

A row of sapphire Dragon Tree plants in a field.
Saphire Dragons exploding in our field.

The Quest for the Powton Sapphire Dragon

Nearly 1000 years later and thousands of kilometers away Australian nurseryman Chris Lucas combined the wisdom of Chen Chu with modern tissue culture technology. The result a range of fast-growing Powtons that can provide an alternative timber source to our Earth’s rapidly dwindling rainforests. At the same time, the tree can be used to rehabilitate degraded farmland and be harvested in 7-14 years. This marriage of ancient knowledge and modern science is helping to solve some of these pressing environmental problems. Powtons are being grown and propagated by us for farm projects and garden enthusiasts across Australia.

Ancient Charm

As befits such a botanical bijou, the Powton Sapphire Dragon has a charming heritage. The Powton, like the dragon, has enjoyed an important place in Chinese mythology as a symbol of prosperity and wisdom for thousands of years. Thus the Powton Sapphire Dragon promises magical things for gardens and gardeners.

Planting Instructions

Put in the ground and stand back three paces.

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