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DURANTA

Image of Duranta

James H. Schutte

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

DURANTA

Plant Common Name

Duranta

General Description

Comprising more than 30 evergreen shrubs and small trees, Duranta is represented in gardens primarily by the pigeon berry, D. erecta. Most durantas bear loose clusters of tubular blue or purple flowers with flaring tips, followed by showy chains of white, yellow, or orange bead-like fruits. The simple, usually ovate, and often toothed leaves are paired or whorled. The stems are typically arching and spiny. Hybrids and cultivars of Duranta erecta abound, varying by flower and leaf color. They are widely used in warm landscapes as shrubs, hedges, and small trees.

Most durantas are sensitive to freezing, limiting their landscape use to tropical and subtropical areas. They make beautiful potted specimens for a sunny window and can also be used as annuals in cold climates. Plant in well-drained soil and full or part sun. Usually drought tolerant once established, Duranta is a good choice for water-restricted landscapes. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds and the fruits are relished by songbirds.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Lavender, Blue Violet

  • Fruit Color

    White, Yellow, Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes