Scientific: Duranta erecta
Common: Golden dew drops
Family: Verbenaceae
Origin: Scrub and open woodlands in the West Indies and Central and South America

Pronounciation: Du-RAN-ta e-REC-ta

Hardiness zones
13-17, 19-24
USDA  9-11

Landscape Use: Accent shrub or trellis plant, container plant

Form & Character: Petite, delicate, wiry, and large sprawling shrub with an open habit.

Growth Habit: In the desert Southwest, golden dew drops is an open and sprawling shrub with an irregular habit to 10 feet in height, but is easily controlled at 5 feet. Golden dew drops will grows larger in more humid climates.

Foliage/texture: The ovate leaves are 1 to 3 inches long and arranged on the stem in pairs opposite each other, or in whorls of three; medium fine texture.

Flowers & fruits: Showy blue flowers (sometimes white) bloom almost all year long in terminal or lateral clusters (racemes, actually) up to 6 inches wide. Fruits are a small, 1-inch wide, small, orange-yellow pome.

Seasonal color: Flowers during entire warm season, fruit provide accent during winter.

Temperature: Cold hardy to 28oF. Shoots typically experience frost or freeze injury each winter in the lower elevation, colder sections of the greater Phoenix area such as in Mesa, Queen Creek, Apache Junction and Chandler/Gilbert.

Light: Needs partial shade in xeric style landscapes but performs well in full sun in landscapes with much surrounding vegetation, no western sun.

Soil: This beautiful shrub needs good soil drainage and fertile soil for best full growth.

Watering: In Phoenix, regular supplemental irrigations, especially during summer months, are needed.

Pruning: Heading back and light shearing may be needed to control occasional irregular shoots, otherwise leave alone to grow naturally. Inevitably some horticultural clods will shear golden dew drops into the proverbial landscape polyp robbing it of its ability to gracefully beautify any landscape setting.

Propagation: Seed, cuttings

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Golden dew drops is a graceful, delicate landscape shrub that has both wonderful displays of blue flowers and orange yellow fruits. The attractive fruits are poisonous to humans, so be wise and avoid use of this shrub in children play areas where the temptation to 'try out' the lovely fruit could exist. The cultivar, 'Alba' has white flowers, whereas, the cultivar 'Grandiflora' has larger flowers, about 3/4 inch wide. The cultivar 'Sweet Memory' has a pearl-string cascade of flowers on a plume, whereas 'Variegata' has variegated leaves.