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 Weather Station

Products > Duranta erecta 'Variegata'
Duranta erecta 'Variegata' - grevillea

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Verbenaceae (Vervains)
Origin: West Indies (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 15-25 feet
Width: 8-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Duranta erecta 'Variegata' (Variegated Sky Flower) - This is the white variegated form of the popular Brazilian Sky Flower that is grown for its blue flowers and ornamental golden fruit. Like the species this evergreen shrub can grow quite large, reaching to small tree proportions to 20 feet tall or more with arching stems of elliptically shaped leaves splashed with a white variegation. From late spring through fall appear the cascading clusters of blue tubular flowers that are followed by contrasting orange-yellow berries. In mild climates this plant can be in flower nearly year round with flowers and fruit appearing at the same time. It does best in full to part sun with frequent deep watering and is hardy to about 20-25 F. Benefit from frequent selective pruning. A good choice for espaliers, as a small tree or large bush and this cultivar is particularly nice in a part sun location where its nice variegation can help brighten up a spot in the garden and the flowers are very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Duranta erecta, long grown as D. repens is native to the New World from Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean south to Brazil and has many common names, including golden dewdrop, pigeon-berry and sky-flower. The name for the genus honors Castore Durante (AKA Castor Durante da Gualdo) a 16th century Italian botanist and physician who wrote a book in 1585 describing medicinal plants from Europe and East and West Indies. The specific epithet is descriptive of the upright habit of the plant. The attractive fruits and the foliage have saponins that are poisonous to humans but are considered to be bitter and, while poisonings in the US were unreported in 1986 when Thomas C. Fuller and Elizabeth McClintock's Poisonous Plants of California (University of California Press, 1986) was published, there were reports of children becoming ill from eating berries in Australia. We grew this plant from 1995 until 2008 and picked it back up again in 2020.  The information on this page is based on the research that we have conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from what we have found on reliable online sources, as well as from observations made of our crops of this plant growing in the nursery and of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Duranta erecta 'Variegata'.