I am very confused as to the naming of this plant. I learned it as Dracaena reflexa (common name 'Song of India') but apparently it has been renamed as Pleomele reflexa. When trying to find out which name is correct I read that the name was changed from Pleomele to Dracaena.

enter image description here Does anybody know which is the previous name and which is the current name?

1 Answer 1


This publication from the University of Florida extension department describes the Pleomele as a discarded synonym or common name. This plant has always been sold as Pleomele but only in the last few years have I seen it classified as a Dracaena for taxonomy purposes.

With the advent of cheap DNA analysis there has been even more flux in the world of botanical taxonomy. What were once species in their own right are often reclassified as a variant of another. Just looking at the Dracaena family you can see that the Cordylines and Liriope have been kicked out and the Pleomeles added in.

  • Hopefully when all of the known plants have been DNA tested and the books re written, we can all relearn the 'correct' names for plants just the once.
    – user13638
    Feb 1, 2016 at 18:43
  • @Rosie all across biology, not just botany the concept of a "species" is looking more and more like a good-enough-theory rather than anything grounded in how genes actually work. But that is out of scope here.
    – kevinskio
    Feb 1, 2016 at 18:52

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