Duranta erecta

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 3 Professionals
Common Name: pigeon berry
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Verbenaceae
Native Range: Tropical America
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Light blue, violet or white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Thorns

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where plants are grown in moist, fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but best flowering is in full sun. Tolerates wide range of soils. Grow as an annual shrub, in containers or as a houseplant in the St. Louis area. Container plants must be brought inside in fall before first frost for overwintering in a bright sun room.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Native from Florida to Brazil and in the West Indies, golden dewdrop or pigeon berry or sky flower is a spreading, sometimes weeping, evergreen shrub or small tree that grows to 15-18’ tall in its native habitat. In St. Louis it is typically grown as a 2-4’ tall annual shrub or in containers that must be overwintered indoors. Sharp axillary thorns are usually present on stems of mature plants, but are usually absent on young plants. Features drooping axillary and terminal racemes of light blue to violet flowers which bloom summer to fall. Flowers give way in fall to drooping clusters of yellow-orange drupes (golden dewberries as it were). Fruit often does not appear on plants grown in the St. Louis area. Oval rounded light green leaves (to 2” long). Synonymous with and formerly called D. repens. Genus name honors Castor Durantes, 15th century Italian Botanist.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for whiteflies.

Garden Uses

Hedge, border plant, lawn specimen or train as small tree in warm climates. In St. Louis, grow as annual, in containers, houseplant or greenhouses.