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Duranta / Skyflower
Duranta / Skyflower

Duranta / Skyflower

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Duranta/Skyflower
Scientific Name: Duranta erecta

History/general species info: Genus name honors Castore Durante (c.1529-1590), Papal physician and botanist in Rome. The species name, erecta, is a Latin word meaning "upright."

Characteristics: Large shrub. Upright with drooping branches. Fast growing. Evergreen. Poisonous leaves & berries. Texas Superstar®. Deer resistant. Also known as Brazilian skyflower, golden dewdrop (for it showy, dropping trails of golden fruits). Somewhat resistant to disease and insect attack but scale insects, caterpillars, and nematodes can be occasional pests.

Native: adapted to coastal areas, not native to Texas

Flower: purple sometimes white / small yellow fruit

Planting / Care: Grows in sand or rock. Medium water requirement. Can be planted any time. Adapted to all soils. Hardy to 20º-25º. Important to water frequently while the plant is establishing. Water requirements after establishment are low-medium, keeping the soil moist and more during times of drought. Slow release fertilizers help encourage prolific flowering and fruiting during growing season (spring-fall). Root hardy. Landscapers and horticulturalists use golden dewdrop trees for background and screening purposes. Creates a nice private barrier, and the bright lavender flowers and attractive golden fruit add a splash of color to landscapes. Pruning is needed occasionally to maintain a dense manageable form. Can be grown in a container. 

Size and Spacing: Height: 5-15’ Spread: 8-10’

Light requirement: Sun / part shade, but best flowering is in full sun

Wildlife: Birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, general wildlife

Links

Texas Superstar Program
https://texassuperstar.com/plants/duranta/durantastory.html

University of Florida
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr327

Photos: Texas A&M, Roz Bailey