Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The Golden Dewdrops - Duranta erecta
The Golden Dewdrops - Duranta erecta, are most easily identified by their brilliant sky blue colored flowers and bright yellow fruit. They originated in the West Indies but have been naturalized from South Florida to East/Central Texas. In the United States they are found primarily on disturbed sites, pine lands, and hammocks from 0-100 m. An evergreen shrub, occasional vine or rarely a small tree they reach heights of only 20 feet.
Image Citation: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
The unique sky blue flowers are about 1cm in diameter, with 5 petals each, borne in an elongated raceme ranging in size from 5-15 cm long. The flowers occur year round. The fruit is a round yellow drupe that matures year round an averages about 1.5 cm in diameter. The leaves are opposite, simple, elliptic or egg shaped, tapered to a short point at the tip. The bark is simple and gray when young, becoming fissured and rough with age.
The Golden Dewdrops is a member of the Vervain (Verbenaceae) family that includes roughly 35 genera and 1000 unique species found in only topical and sub tropical regions. This family includes many colorful ornamentals and recent research shows this family is closely related to the Lamiaceae (mints & teak are in this family).