Common names include golden dewdrop, pigeon berry, and skyflower. In Mexico, the native Nahuatl name for the plant is xcambocoché. In Tonga it is known as mavaetangi (tears of departure). Duranta is registered as an invasive weed by many councils of Australia. It is a prolific, fast growing weed that is spread by birds from domestic areas to natural reserves. It was introduced and marketed as a hedge plant some years ago. Many people now fight to keep this thorny pest under control. It is highly ranked in the most invasive weeds in Australia.
Duranta erecta is a sprawling shrub or (infrequently) a small tree. It can grow to 6 m tall and can spread to an equal width. Mature specimens possess axillary thorns, which are often absent on younger specimens. The leaves are light green, elliptic to ovate, opposite, and grow up to 7.5 cm long and 3.5 cm broad, with a 1.5 cm petiole. The flowers are light-blue or lavender, produced in tight clusters located on terminal and axillary stems, blooming almost all year long. The fruit is a small globose yellow or orange berry, up to 11 mm diameter and containing several seeds. The leaves and berries of the plant are toxic, and are confirmed to have killed children, dogs and cats. However, songbirds eat the fruit without ill effects.
The cultivar illustrated is the hybrid "China Girl".
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