Duranta erecta - Golden dewdrop
About thirty species of Duranta
are native to the American tropics. This species is native to the Caribbean,
Central America and South America. The golden
dewdrop is the only species commonly cultivated in the U.S. It is evergreen in the
tropics. Flowers in white, blue or purple appear throughout the summer and fall
until frost. It flowers on new growth so pruning may remove flower buds. Fruits
are small, fleshy, and yellow when mature. Chemicals called saponins make the
fruit potentially toxic for people but edible for birds.
Plants can be seen at the entrance to parking lot 7.
This plant has the potential to reach about ten feet tall. Where it dies to the ground each winter, it is more likely to reach five or six feet tall. It may be trimmed down at the end of each winter to maintain the lower height.
Light: full sun to part shade
Water: average water requirements, drought tolerant
Soil: very adaptable
In north Florida, a cold winter may kill it to the ground and it will recover the following spring. It is an easy plant for gardens in this area. It flowers seem particularly attractive to the bright yellow sulfur butterflies.