Sky Flower (Duranta erecta)


Duranta erecta L. 1753, commonly called Sky Flower and because of its bright orange fruits also Golden Dew Drop, Garden Dewdrop or Pigeon Berry, is a flowering shrub native to Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands.

Nowadays the Sky Flower shrub is cultivated as an ornamental plant for its stunning purple-blue flowers and attractive fruits in many tropical and subtropical countries around the world and is considered an invasive species in Australia, China, South Africa, Hawaii, Fiji and French Polynesia. Duranta erecta belongs to the Verbena (Vervain) family (Verbenaceae) and reach heights up to about 6 meters. Flowers, born in tight clusters, get a size of about 1 cm across. Flowering season: all around the year.

The orange berries are highly toxic and there are reports, that children, dogs and cats has been killed, as they ate the fruits. The genus Duranta, containing 17 species of shrubs and small trees, has established by the Swedish botanist Carl von Linnaeus (1707-1778) in the year 1753 and has been named in honour to the Italian botanist and medic Castore Durante (1529 – 1590). The Sky Flower shrub requires
warm - hot temperatures and is best cultivated in full sun. Once established plants should be pruned in late winter or early spring to keep them in shape and form.

Flower Photography © Orchids
Image: Duranta erecta

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