Golden Dew Drop, Sky Flower, Pigeon Berry

Duranta erecta

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Duranta (door-AN-tuh) (Info)
Species: erecta (ee-RECK-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Duranta repens
Synonym:Duranta plumieri
Synonym:Duranta ellisia
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Good Fall Color




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Light Blue



Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From leaf cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:



West Blocton, Alabama

Gilbert, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Chowchilla, California

Cloverdale, California

Crockett, California

Delano, California

Fairview, California

Fresno, California

Irvine, California

Lafayette, California

Lemon Grove, California

Madera, California

Merced, California

Rancho Cordova, California

San Diego, California

Vista, California

Bartow, Florida

Brooker, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Gainesville, Florida (2 reports)

Gulf Breeze, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lady Lake, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Lynn Haven, Florida

Maitland, Florida

Miami, Florida (2 reports)

Micanopy, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pinellas Park, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Seminole, Florida (2 reports)

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Trenton, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Garden, Florida

Brunswick, Georgia

Kapolei, Hawaii

Barbourville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Covington, Louisiana

Schriever, Louisiana

Scott, Louisiana

Slaughter, Louisiana

Florence, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi

Long Beach, Mississippi

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Saucier, Mississippi

Averill Park, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Orangeburg, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Alice, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Copperas Cove, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Haltom City, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas (4 reports)

Humble, Texas

Katy, Texas

La Porte, Texas

Lytle, Texas

Murchison, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Rockport, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas (2 reports)

Victoria, Texas

Norfolk, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 4, 2018, legalsmith from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

I border Zone 8b/9a. I had to baby these fast growing plants the first 2 or 3 winters, covering them with sheets. Once they were established, they have been hardy. Mild winters require that I prune away the frozen ends of branches in spring. Hard winters require that I cut them flat to the ground as soon as I see the very first green sprout. They come back just fine, though last winter was the harshest in decades and these plants, like most survivors of the severe freeze, were much slower to return than in usual years. I constantly prune these plants to keep them where I want them, or they would swell out over my main garden and block the sun. This plant is very easy to grow from cuttings and it is a favorite of bees and butterflies. And it is so much more interesting than more common pl... read more


On Oct 25, 2017, lightyellow from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

Golden dew drop plays a similar role as Porterweed, Firebush, and sterile lantana in the pollinator garden because it basically is everblooming so it's a good stable fixture that my bumblebees especially appreciate. I like it for that reason. I also find the berries, while poisonous, quite ornamental (and you should not keep strange plants around unsupervised children and pets anyway). It's also a survivor that competes with weeds well and hasn't had any problems even when it was ignored for years. I definitely recommend it in z9 Florida gardens but not ones with backyard dogs and/or ones near playgrounds.

Despite its perks, this plant has high invasive potential in tropical regions and I would not plant it too far from its native range in the Caribbean and South America. It... read more


On Oct 23, 2013, realityfaery from Delano, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

My mom planted one in her front yard about 3 years ago and at the time, had no idea what she was planting. It wasn't until recently I stumbled across that is was a Golden Dew Drop when trying to figure out whether I wanted to take some cuttings to take it with me.

Its been growing like crazy in the spot she planted it, it gets afternoon and evening sun. We actually had to pin it up because it does get top heavy. This thing can take a heavy pruning too and come back full force in a matter of weeks.


On Sep 28, 2013, debylutz from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant grows very well here in San Diego. It is shrubby and has the most amazingly blue flowers. It would make a nice espalier. The yellow fruits are quite attractive (yet poisonous - don't let it near small children or pets.)


On Feb 20, 2012, amansker from Escondido, CA wrote:

Thrives in Vista, CA (7 miles inland, north county San Diego). Hummingbirds love it. We have many hummingbird friendly plants and this one is one of their first two picks. They do like water, but drought resistant. Does "OK" in the hottest part of the summer, prefer Jan-June and Sept-Nov.


On Nov 30, 2009, Horologium from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Vigorous grower; flowers all year long. Very showy, and the butterflies and honeybees are fond of the plant.

A note of caution, though: all parts of the plant are toxic to people and house pets. A publication from WWF/Australia notes that a 2 year old child died after eating berries, and six puppies and a cat have been killed after ingesting parts of the plants.


On Sep 15, 2009, organic_kitten from West Blocton, AL wrote:

This plant has bloomed continuously since I bought it in May. The butterflies, honeybees and bumblebees all love it.

I did cut the berries off when the blooms slowed, and it renewed the blooming. It is in full sun, and it has thrived.


On Jul 13, 2009, khabbab from lahore,
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

On lahore pakistan it is mostly used as a hedge. It is evergreen here and blooms in late summer for almost 3 months. It is mid-july here and still no blooms on it. I tried bloom booster mild doses few times but no avail. Last year it bloomed in september for one month. Blooms are chocolaty fragrant. Butterflies like its nectar. It needs moisture and lots of water in hot summers. It gives much more flowers in soil bed as compared to clay pots like mine.


On Jan 26, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Golden Dew Drop, Sky Flower, Pigeon Berry (Duranta erecta) is native to Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Texas (Counties: Bexar, Kleberg), Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is an introduced plant that has naturalized in the Hawaiian Islands. I do not have the native variety; however, I do have 'Sweet Memories' which has been an easily grown plant that requires little maintenance.


On Jun 16, 2007, mypetalpatch from Cloverdale, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

A self-admitted plant-aholic, I saw this plant for the first time in full-flower in a 10" hanging basket at the SF Floral Mart in '06. Wow! Took it home and expected to have to baby it. Didn't need to. I did move it up a pot size as it was a bit crowded and I was having too water frequently. Had it in sun to almost full shade (good reflected light) and it stays blooming. I water when the leaves just start to dull (before wilt). Not knowing better, I kept deadheading the scapes as they got longer so I never got to see the berries that I had no idea came. I even really pruned the thing back pretty hard in Feb and it's starting to flower again now (early June). Think I have a few cuttings going from semi-hardwood clippings. What a great find!


On Mar 25, 2007, subuch from Lafayette, CA wrote:

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area our Duranta survived an abnormal 5-day freeze with temps as low as 21 and has come back with incredible vigor. We think that the flowers' strong fragrance is a reminder of chocolate syrup from our childhood called Bosco with a slightly artificial chocolate and vanilla scent.


On Aug 9, 2006, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These plants can be pruned as needed to maintain a low heighth and compact growth habit. They can otherwise tend to throw off long, dangling, cascading arms which can be nice in some settings where the plant can grow tall and unchecked, but the plant is not harmed at all by pruning close to the main stem to encourage a bushier look.



On Aug 8, 2006, shellabella from West Central, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have had no trouble with this plant . It gets afternoon sun and seems to be able to take the Florida heat and humidity very well. It has continued to bloom all summer without any pest problems. Easy care and heat tolerant with pretty blooms , couldn't ask for more!


On Jul 9, 2006, princessnonie from New Caney, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this beautiful plant but in our zone ( 8b) they freeze to the ground...They generally reemerge but in 2005 they were hit by a second freeze just as they were coming back..This killed ours..It's so pretty we're trying again and we'll mulch more heavily this year...


On Jan 8, 2006, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

The flowers of this tropical shrub have a wonderful fragrance....that smells like to me, a mixture of vanilla and lavender. Butterflies love the flowers of this member of the verbena family.


On Jul 31, 2004, TampaBayMD from Riverview, FL wrote:

I have several of the variegated variety in limited shade. The plants are growing profusely, both tall and full. The foliage coloration is it' s serving well as a landscape planting. But after three years not a single bloom ever!!! The standard variety plants in the area all have blooms. Is there a way to "force" this variety?


On Jun 25, 2004, azskyflower from Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

I had this plant in the ground and it did wonderfully for at least 7 months of the year it was in bloom and I was truly amazed by it I loved the color it gave my back yard!


On Oct 28, 2003, dho1655 from Belvedere Tiburon, CA wrote:

I've been growing this in a pot since I'm afraid to commit it to the ground for fear the deer would eat it. Deer are a big problem in my yard. I've also found that the cuttings root easily in water.


On May 18, 2003, SILady from Enterprise, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have a couple of these, one in full sun and one in partial shade (I am in USDA Zone 9b.) Mine have done great! There was some die-back from a winter where we had temperatures down to 25 F but the plants have come back fantastically - no problems I'm aware of.


On Nov 2, 2002, mmaloney wrote:

I own and operate a nursery in northern Florida (USDA Zone 8b. ) We live in a valley and the lows can get down to 12F. In this zone, it dies to the ground and comes up every year without mulching. The soil here is all sand here with no clay underlay. This plant seems to do very well in a morning sun/late afternoon sun but does not like full afternoon sun from mid-June through September. The leaves droop to conserve moisture.

It's very low maintenance and very showy, although it does have thorns.


On Oct 16, 2002, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very attractive native, but it needs to be heavily pruned once it's loaded up with golden berries or it will quit blooming. The good part is you can prune it with a machete and it comes back better than ever.


On Sep 25, 2002, Lisa_Jo wrote:

The butterflies pass on the other flowers in my garden to drink the nectar from these plants. I've never seen a plant attract such a wide variety and so many butterflies. Keep well watered. Mine droop when they are thirsty.


On Sep 22, 2002, jdbfri wrote:

The plant is beautiful, almost always blooming and has golden berries on it at the same time. It provides nectar to butterflies, bees and hummers. It's fruit is a favorite for songbirds. No pest bother it as far as I know. Great plant! Brenda


On Aug 26, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Can tolerate some salt conditions. Flowers all year. Golden berries appear after bloom. Attracts Butterflies.


On Aug 9, 2002, pow wrote:

I live in zone 10 and have this plant in several locations throughout my yard. It blooms best in full sun. However, I have them in shade areas as well, and they still seem to do well, (less blooms). They cascade wonderfully. They come in both regular and variegated leaf forms. The variegated species seems to have many more thorns and seems to grow larger. This species is best placed out of harms way, but not forgotten about, it is gorgeous. Golden Dewdrops are fast growers, drought tolerant and extremely beautiful. In addition to their blooms they cascade with golden seedpods in clusters. Keep trimmed from the bottom bleeders and you will enjoy a truly fabulous new addition to your garden. Here in zone 10 after all frost danger, I clip them to the ground and within a short time you will ha... read more