Characteristics of Skyflower Tree (Duranta erecta) in the Wild

Duranta erecta
Skyflower or Golden dewdrop is a plant species in the Verbenaceae family, which is native to Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. This tree is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant around the world and has been naturalized in many places.

In Mexico, this tree is called Xcambocoché, while in Indonesia it is called the Sinyo Nakal or Duranta. The yellow-leaved skyflower tree species (Duranta erecta ‘Aurea’) is sometimes the subject of bonsai in Indonesia.

The skyflower tree is widely grown as an ornamental plant for its striking flowers and fruit, making it a suitable plant for gardens and yards. When blooming, the flowers can attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

There are various kinds of skyflower tree cultivars, they are:

  • Duranta erecta ‘Alba’
  • Duranta erecta ‘Aurea’
  • Duranta erecta ‘Aussie Gold’
  • Duranta erecta ‘Gold Mound’
  • Duranta erecta ‘Geisha Girl’
  • Duranta erecta ‘Sapphire Showers’
  • Duranta erecta ‘Variegata’

 

Characteristics of Skyflower Leaf

Duranta erecta Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

The leaves are light green or bright yellow, ovate, opposite, 4-6 cm long and 2-4 cm wide.

 

Characteristics of Skyflower

Duranta erecta Flower
Source : flickr.com/Mauricio Mercadante

The flowers are light blue or lavender, grow in clusters on stems and bloom most of the year.

 

Characteristics of Skyflower Fruit

Duranta erecta Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Gibro Walker

Skyflowers are small, round berries, yellow or orange, 9-11 mm in diameter, and contain several seeds.

WARNING: The unripe leaves and fruit are poisonous. Its poison is capable of killing medium-sized animals such as dogs and cats.

 
However, ripe fruit can be eaten without side effects.

 

Characteristics of Skyflower Tree

Duranta erecta Tree
Source : flickr.com/Mauricio Mercadante

Skyflower trees grow in the form of shrubs (rarely trees) and can reach 6 meters in height.

Skyflower has been identified as a weed in Australia, South Africa, and China, and has been described as an invasive plant in Hawaii, Fiji, and French Polynesia.

 

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