Duranta erecta and cultivars
Synonym: Duranta repens
Overseas, this genus is known by common names including skyflower, pigeonberry and golden dewdrops, but here is is better known by its generic name Duranta or by the trade name of popular cultivars.
These are very common around South East Queensland. The golden-leaved form Duranta erecta aurea (often sold as Sheena's Gold®) becoming particularly popular for hedging.
'Geisha Girl' is another form which has become popular for its flowers of intense blue with white-edges and easy growth. Several other varieties with variations in flowercolour, foliage colour or growth habit have been put on the market without the
Older forms include green leaves with light blue flowers (the original species), a green-leaved while flowered form (Duranta erecta 'Alba') and a variagated form (Duranta erecta 'Variegata') with speckled green and cream leaves.
Duranta is very tough, but has drawbacks. It is extremely vigorous and could quickly get out of hand of not strictly controlled. Some are very thorny. Copious berry production is also a worry, indicating weed potential. Note also that the berries are poisonous.
Hopefully, new cultivars will show improvements in these characteristics. If not, think seriously before planting Duranta.
Duranta was covered in Get Results Gardening in the 10-02-2023 edition. Click on the banner below ☟ to learn how to get a free trial (Australian residents only).
Duranta in the landscape
Click for larger image.
Duranta erecta 'Alba'
Duranta 'Geisha Girl'
Duranta 'Geisha Girl' as a nectar source for caper white butterflies
Golden duranta (left hand side) and 'Geisha Girl' (right hand side) growing next to each other, showing difference in flower production
A variegated cultivar, probably 'Variegata Aurea'
A variegated cultivar, probably 'Aussie 2000'