Saturday, July 2, 2011

Duranta, not Durante. Goodnight, Mrs. Kalabash.

Duranta repens or Duranta erecta? You may know it as pigeon berry or Golden Dewdrop. It finally commenced bloom. In a more tropical climate Duranta is a small tree. Here it dies to the ground at frost and comes back in spring from the roots. Like Esperanza and Pride of Barbados, bloom comes with hot weather, Duranta being just a little later than the others.

Duranta is an annual in climates colder than zone 8.
It is sometimes sold in hanging baskets because of the long
graceful branches.  Easy to grow, roots easily.
Reportedly poisonous, but also said not to be deer proof.
 Birds eat the berries; butterflies and
hummingbirds are attracted to the blossoms.

Gulf Fritillary butterflies have returned here.

Gulf Frits and Pipevine Swallowtails are enjoying Tithonia.
Duranta in the background will be attractive to them in bloom.

Duranta blooms at the ends of the limbs.
The shrubs quickly and easily reach 5' tall.

Duranta is a Texas Superstar plant.
It isn't named for Jimmy Durante but for an Italian botanist named Durantes.


  1. What a pretty and delicate looking bloom it has Nell. I love the purple-blue with the white edging.What a beautiful butterfly the Gulf Fritiallary is. Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. That's some different kind of plant/shrub, very cool how fast it grows. Loving the flowers and butterflies.

  3. I had one and it didn't do well for me. It makes you feel like a complete failure to kill a 'Texas Superstar' in Texas! Yours looks very nice.

  4. Maybe you should try again, Holley. I think the hanging basket idea is a good one. I may try that in the winter indoors crowd. I killed something red when I had success with Duranta. I forget what it was, but it was pretty and it croaked in the heat and drought while Duranta did very well.

  5. I must check to see if mine is blooming.

  6. Lovely flower, havn't heard of this one. Must see if I can get it over here, its in The Plant Finder book, so a little detective work needed to track it down !!

  7. I live in NW Arkansas (zone 7). Our duranta (4 ft tall in pot) bloomed nicely last year and overwintered in our garage. It has lush growth but has yet to bloom this summer. If it's heat it wants, we should have blooms soon!

  8. My Duranta is just like Laurie's potted erecta. I overwinter it inside and it lives outside in the summer. It has yet to even indicate a chance at blooming, yet is quite full and healthy. It seeds itself like crazy, but I always remove the seedlings. I heard it is invasive in FL. I can believe that to be true with all the offspring. I was wondering if it is a biennial bloomer.

  9. I don't know the answer to the question about biennial bloom. My original plant was bought in bloom. Subsequent cuttings bloomed the same year.

    It is considered an invasive species in Australia, China, South Africa and on several Pacific Islands including Hawaii. I didn't find any documentation about invasive in Florida. In 2005 it was an IFAS recommended plant. I can imagine that it might begin to invade in south Florida if it is invasive in Hawaii.

    Let me mention again that the berries are said to be poisonous to people and pets.

  10. I grew this in a large urn a few years ago, and I loved the way it draped down the sides. The blooms are so pretty.

  11. BTW Blotanical is down ... are we nearly there???

  12. Diana, I wonder. The 4 week deadline expired last week. I generously guessed July 12 for no reason. If it was down, it is up again.

    Seedscatterer is showing 92 picks in the alpha list, 22 on 'Mine' picks and there are a dozen actual members listed as having picked it. Picked by 12 people is closer to what usually occurs. I am impatient for 'new and improved.'

  13. We have lots of them here in the tropics, and i get tired of seeing the golden duranta as hedges on both sides of the roads, then i planted that one with purplish blue flowers and allowed it to become a small tree. Here, it flowers whole year round and can withstand the long dry season, when the annuals cannot survive. I just prune the ends after flowering so they sprout again new shoots to flower again. Butterflies really love it.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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