Duranta erecta 'Cuban Gold'

Overall Plant
Common Name: pigeon berry 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Verbenaceae
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 0.75 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Light lavender-blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful


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

Duranta erecta, commonly called golden dewdrop, pigeon berry or sky flower, is native from Florida to Brazil and in the West Indies. It 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. Oval to rounded, light green leaves (to 2” long).

Genus name honors Castore Durante (c.1529-1590), Papal physician and botanist in Rome.

Specific epithet means upright or erect.

'Cuban Gold' is a low-growing selection of golden dewdrop that features chartreuse to golden yellow foliage and a well-branched, spreading to mounding habit. Mature plants will reach up to 2' tall and spread to fill a 3' area. Small, light lavender-blue flowers bloom sporadically and are followed by round, berry-like drupes. Primarily grown for the colorful foliage rather than the blooms or fruits.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for whiteflies.


Border edger, containers, mass plantings. Can be used as an annual.