Golden Dew Drop, Sky Flower, Pigeon Berry 'Cuban Gold'

Duranta erecta

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Duranta (door-AN-tuh) (Info)
Species: erecta (ee-RECK-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Cuban Gold
Synonym:Duranta repens
Synonym:Duranta plumieri



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

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

Bloom Color:

Light Blue




Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly






Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Channel Islands Beach, California

Pinellas Park, Florida

Angleton, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Houston, Texas

Lake Jackson, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Spring, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 17, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I've just planted 3 in a West Palm Beach garden. This is a gold-leafed cultivar of the Jamaican form, which is said to grow just 2' tall, unlike the species, which is a small tree. It is spreading-mounding in habit, and I'm using it as an evergreen groundcover.

I read that the gold-leafed forms don't flower well. The ones I see here in the landscape are sheared continually and hardly bloom at all.


On Oct 19, 2015, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

In my Zone 7A garden in Petersburg, Virginia, I have been growing a Duranta erecta plant for about five years, bringing it indoors to winter over. I do have a question which someone here may be able to help me with: I don't know if my plant is 'Cuban Gold' or 'Gold Mound.' It is variegated, and I see that included in the description of 'Cuban Gold' here, but not for 'Gold Mound." Other internet sources also describe 'Gold Mound' as growing to only two or three feet, but the "Dave's Garden" description of it claims that it gets as tall as 4 - 6 feet.
My 'Cuban Gold' (if that's really its name) was in a four inch pot when I bought it at the bedding plants display at a supermarket where it was described as an annual that would reach eighteen inches. At the end of the first summer,... read more


On Jan 31, 2015, Jan_Montgomery from Willis, TX wrote:

This is my first winter with Duranta erecta Cuban Gold in Montgomery TX. About 6 plants in back bed, full hot sun and looked lush and bright all summer. But I didn't cover them the first freeze (not hard). About 30 degrees not even overnight. Covered them the next night at 34 degrees. Some stems looked very peaked and I trimmed. More cold coming. How do I protect?


On Nov 6, 2008, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grow this as standards and as shrubs. wonderful plant. Mine are planted inground in bright shade. I've seen them grown in full butal TX sun.

UPDATE Feb 2015: I could not maintain my duranta tree form. It died during a cooler than average winter. It did come back from the roots and I decided to let it grow as a multi stem shrub. It seems to do much better during the cold, as if multiple branches shield each other better than a single trunk.

None of my durantas in standard form have tolerated cold but shrubs do. Maybe one day I will experiment by covering the trunk to see if it survives.

UPDATE Sep 2016: since winters in 2015 and 2016 were mild, I pruned 2 Cuban Golds into standards and they are doing well. Trunks are 1.5" dia. So perh... read more