Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Sky flower, Golden dewdrop, Pigeonberry.

+ Tree Species

Duranta erecta

+ Tree Family

Verbenaceae

+ Ecology

Native to southern USA. It grows in dry to moist disturbed areas. Common along roadsides and in thickets; at elevations from 150 - 1,650 metres. This species may be planted in the ground or in large containers. Although it grows best in full sun, it is tolerant of semi-shade. This species is occasionally attacked by caterpillars, scale insects and nematodes.

+ Description

Duranta erecta is a usually thorny, evergreen shrub or small tree, sometimes with a weeping habit; it usually grows around 4 - 6 metres tall, though pot-grown plants are more likely to be around 1.2 metres.

BARK: pairs of spines along the stems, one located;the base of each of the leaf stalks. Younger stems are green in colour and sparsely covered in close-lying (i.e. appressed) hairs.

LEAVES: simple and paired (i.e. oppositely arranged) or occasionally borne in whorls of three, short leaf stalks (i.e. petioles) up to 1 cm long, ovate with serrate to entire leaf margin (2.5 - 7.5 cm long).

FLOWERS: light purple or blue, tubular flowers are 5-lobed (1.3 cm wide). Flowers are arranged in terminal or lateral clusters known as racemes (15 cm long).

FRUITS: golden, round to slightly elongated berries (1.3 cm wide). They occur in large, hanging clusters.

+ Uses

An ornamental tree.

Medicine: the plant is used in the treatment of fevers, skin itches. http://www.tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Duranta+erecta

Agroforestry: can be grown as a hedge, grown in living fences.

The plant is used as an insect repellant

+ Propagation

Seeds.

+ Management

Fast-growing. Trimming, Pruning.

+ Remarks

The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and insect repellent. It is widely grown as an ornamental in the subtropical and tropical zones, there are some named varieties. The leaves and 'berries' (i.e. drupes) are poisonous to people and animals, and are reported to have caused numerous deaths in domestic pets. Dense thickets can restrict access and reduce the productivity of pastures.

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