Duranta Duranta repens

Introduction
This large, fast-growing, multistemmed shrub is popular as a screen or background planting, but is too vigorous and tall to use against the foundation or in small areas. The full clusters of fragrant, pale blue flowers attract butterflies in summer and are followed by bunches of golden-orange berries, popular with birds. Flowers and fruit are often found on the plant simultaneously and make an attractive show. Yellow fruit often hangs on the plant into the winter if the birds don’t eat them.

General Information
Scientific name: Duranta repens
Pronunciation: doo-RAN-tuh REE-penz
Common name(s): Golden Dewdrop, Sky-Flower, Pigeonberry
Family: Verbenaceae
Plant type: shrub
USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Origin: native to Florida
Uses: border; mass planting; specimen; container or aboveground planter; naturalizing; screen; reclamation plant; espalier; foundation; attracts butterflies; cascading down a wall
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Description
Height: 8 to 15 feet
Spread: 10 to 15 feet
Plant habit: round; weeping
Plant density: moderate
Growth rate: fast
Texture: medium

Foliage
Leaf arrangement: whorled
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: serrate
Leaf shape: ovate
Leaf venation: brachidodrome; pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower
Flower color: paleblue
Flower characteristic: pleasant fragrance; spring flowering; summer flowering; fall flowering

Fruit
Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: less than .5 inch
Fruit cover: fleshy
Fruit color: yellow
Fruit characteristic: persists on the plant

Trunk and Branches
Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multitrunked or clumping stems
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium

Culture
Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: slightly alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: poor
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches

Other
Roots: usually not a problem
Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers
Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management
Foliage is light green, branches are often droopy and vinelike, and the stems may have sharp spines. When frozen back in the winter, the canes make vigorous recovery and will bloom the next season in USDA hardiness zone 9. Dewdrop will cascade over a wall to form a waterfall of color when in bloom or fruit. Plant on four to six-foot centers to form a dense mass planting. Preferring full sun and occasional irrigation, Golden Dewdrop will tolerate a wide range of soils and requires no special care once established. A white-flowering cultivar, ‘Alba’, is also available. Propagation is by seeds or cuttings of firm wood. Pests include caterpillars, nematodes, and scale. No diseases are of major concern.

by Edward F. Gilman

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Duranta flower
Photo by Libby Wilkes

Rebecca Jordi
Horticulture Agent IV
County Extension Director
Contributing Editor
email: rljordi@ufl.edu