Information about Golden Dewdrop

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Golden dewdrop Quick Facts
Name: Golden dewdrop
Scientific Name: Duranta erecta
Origin Mexico, Central America, South America to Argentina, southern Florida
Colors Initially green and then mature to a golden yellow to yellow-orange color
Shapes Small globose fleshy, yellow or orange berry, up to 11 mm (0.43 in) diameter and containing several seeds
Health benefits Beneficial for itches, infertility, fever, pneumonia, malaria, asthma, bronchitis, cataracts, abscesses and parasitism
Duranta erecta popularly known as Golden dewdrop is a species of flowering shrub in the verbena family Verbenaceae. The plant is native from Mexico, Central America, and South America to Argentina, southern Florida (possibly naturalized), Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the West Indies. It is extensively cultivated as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical gardens throughout the world, and has become naturalized in many places. It is considered an invasive species in Australia, China, and South Africa and on several Pacific Islands. Popular common names include Golden dewdrops, Pigeon berry, Skyflower, Vanilla bush, Forget-me-not tree, duranta, golden eardrops, angels whisper, Brazilian sky flower, garden dew drop, golden tears, Creeping skin flower, forget-me-not bush and pidgeon berry. In Mexico, the native Nahuatl name for the plant is xcambocoché. In Tonga it is known as mavaetangi (tears of departure).

Golden Dewdrops facts

Name Golden Dewdrops
Scientific Name Duranta erecta
Native Mexico, Central America, South America to Argentina, southern Florida (possibly naturalized), Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the West Indies
Common Names Golden dewdrop, Golden dewdrops, Pigeonberry, Skyflower, Vanilla bush, Forget-me-not tree, duranta, golden eardrops, angels whisper, Brazilian sky flower, garden dew drop, golden tears, Creeping skin flower, forget-me-not bush, pidgeon berry
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Vergeet-my-nie-boom, Vanilla struik         
Assamese: Duronta-kanta,Jeora-goch
Bengali: Kata mehedi
Brazil: Pingo-de-ouro, violeteira-dourada
Chinese: Jia lian qiao (假连翘)
Dutch: Stoute jongens
English: Golden dewdrop, Golden dewdrops, Pigeonberry, Skyflower, Vanilla bush, Forget-me-not tree, duranta, golden eardrops, angels whisper; Brazilian sky flower; garden dew drop; golden tears, Creeping skin flower, forget-me-not bush, pidgeon berry
Finnish: Kultakastepensas
French: Vanillier de Cayenne, durante dressée, durante; vanillier marron
German: Durante, taubenbeere
India: Kata mehedi, Bharangi
Indonesian: Sinyo nakal
Italy: Duranta
Japanese: Deyuranta (デュランタ) harimatsuso (ハリマツソ), sinyo nakal, taiwan-rengiyô (タイワンレンギヨウ)
Javanese: Sinyo nakal
Kannada: Neelakantha
Malayalam: Māṇikkyacempaḻukka (മാണിക്ക്യചെമ്പഴുക്ക)
Marathi: Piwali Mendi, Piwalimendi
Marshallese: Jab meloklok
Mexico: Pojkol che, xcambocoché
Nepali: Neel Kaandaa (नीलकाँडा)
Philippines: Dueanta
Portuguese: Duranta, fruta-de-jacú, pingo-de-ouro, violeteira
Russian: Golubinaya yagoda (голубиная ягода), duranta Plûmʹe (дуранта Плюмье)
South Africa: Vergeet-my-nie-boom
Spanish: San Jacinto, cuentas de oro, duranta, flor celeste, blanco, adonis morada, celosa cimmarona, espina de paloma, fruta de iguana, tala blanco
Swedish: Duvbär
Thai: Thanh yod (เทียนหยด)
Tonga: Mavaetangiz, olive, māvaetangi
Uganda: Ekikomamahanga, kawololo, langwila
Vietnamese: Thanh quan
Plant Growth Habit Sprawling thorny, or vine-like tender evergreen shrub or small tree
Growing Climates Scrub, open woodlands, disturbed areas, riparian habitats, coastal hills, grasslands, densely forested areas and roadsides, dry broadleaf evergreen formation, forests, shrub lands, pine woodlands, human altered environments, river banks, in scrubby vegetation of grazing paddocks, foreshore slopes in open forests
Soil Tolerates acidic to slightly alkaline soils and is moderately salt tolerant. It prefers well drained, sandy, gravely, fertile soils and partial shade
Plant Size Up to 6 m (20 ft.) tall and can spread to an equal width
Bark Light gray, becoming rough and fissured when old
Stem Square, herbaceous but woody below, erect, branched, solid, green. stems of mature plants usually have sharp axillary thorns, which are absent in younger plants of this species
Leaf  Light green, elliptic to ovate, opposite, and grow up to 7.5 cm (3.0 in) long and 3.5 cm (1.4 in) broad, with a 1.5 cm petiole.
Flowering season May to September
Flower Flowers are light-blue or lavender, produced in tight clusters located on terminal and axillary stems, blooming almost all year long. Flowers are scentless, borne on one side of the rachis, white or lilac-blue with two violet stripes, about 1 centimeter long and 1 centimeter wide.
Fruit Shape & Size Small globose fleshy, yellow or orange berry, up to 11 mm (0.43 in) diameter and containing several seeds
Fruit Color Initially green and then mature to a golden yellow to yellow-orange color
Propagation By Seed and by cuttings
Plant parts used Leaves, fruits, juice
Seed Obovate-oblong, smooth, glabrous

The genus name is in honor of Castor Durantes, a fifteenth century Italian botanist. The specific epithet erecta means “upright” in Latin. The plant is also known as D. repens, from the Latin for “creeping”. The latter name was initially used to identify smaller-leaved varieties of the species. 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. The leaves and fruits are also poisonous to people and animals and they are reported to have caused the poisoning of domestic cats and dogs. It is reported to invade riparian habitats and scrublands and it is listed as one of the 50 most invasive species in New South Wales and among the top 100 most invasive plants in southeastern Queensland.

Plant Description

Golden dewdrop is a spreading, sprawling thorny or vine-like tender evergreen shrub or small tree that normally grows up to 6 m (20 ft.) tall and can spread to an equal width. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental and is also used as a hedge plant. The plant is found growing in scrub, open woodlands, disturbed areas, riparian habitats, coastal hills, grasslands, densely forested areas and roadsides, dry broadleaf evergreen formation, forests, shrub lands, pine woodlands, human altered environments, river banks, in scrubby vegetation of grazing paddocks and foreshore slopes in open forests. The plant tolerates acidic to slightly alkaline soils and is moderately salt tolerant. It prefers well drained, sandy, gravely, fertile soils and partial shade. Stem is square, herbaceous but woody below, erect, branched, solid, green. Sharp axillary thorns are usually present on stems of mature plants, but are usually absent on young plants. Bark is light gray, becoming rough and fissured when old.

Leaves

Leaves are light green, elliptic to ovate, opposite, and grow up to 7.5 cm (3.0 in) long and 3.5 cm (1.4 in) broad, with pointed or rounded tips and pointed base; the margins, entire or slightly toothed. Petiole is 1.5 cm long.

Flower

The zygomorphic, perfect, complete flowers are arranged in terminal and axillary pendulant racemes blooming almost all year long. The calyx has 5 fused greenish sepals. The corolla has 5 fused purple-pink petals often with a white edge and/or striping. There are 4 functional stamens and 1 staminode that are fused to the throat of the corolla. The ovary is superior with 4 locules and multiple ovules. Flowering normally takes place from May to September. The full clusters of fragrant, pale blue flowers attract butterflies in summer.

Fruits

Fertile flowers are followed by small globose fleshy, yellow or orange berry, up to 11 mm (0.43 in) diameter and containing several seeds. The berries change color from orange to a dark purple similar to mulberries once ripened and are edible without side-effects. However, songbirds eat the fruit without ill effects. The seeds of this species are dispersed naturally by birds that eat the fruits, and accidentally through garden waste disposal by humans and the nursery trade.

Flowers and fruit are often found on the plant simultaneously and make an attractive show. Yellow fruit often hangs on the plant into the winter if the birds don’t eat them.

Traditional uses and benefits of Golden dewdrop

  • Flowers are believed to be stimulant. (1)
  • Infusion of leaves and juice of fruit are diuretic. (2), (3)
  • Leaves used for treatment of abscesses. (4)
  • In Bangladesh, tribal and mainstream use for malaria. Also used by mainstream Kavirajes as insect repellent, treatment of itches, infertility, fever, and pneumonia. (5)
  • Decoction of whole plant used for asthma, bronchitis, and fever in Andhra Pradesh, India. (6)
  • In India, leaves and stems used for treatment of cataracts. (7)
  • In the southeastern part of Nigeria, fruits used for treatment of malaria, abscesses, and parasitism. (8)
  • Its fruits are used as febrifuge and are a treatment for malaria and intestinal worms. (9)

Other Facts

  • D. erecta is cultivated as an ornamental and as a plant used in hedges and windbreaks.
  • It also has medicinal uses in China.
  • The wood is light brown and hard and useful for stakes and fuel.
  • Fruit juice is also known to be used against mosquitoes.

Precautions

  • Leaves and berries of the plant are toxic, and are confirmed to have killed children, dogs and cats.
  • Golden dewdrop is a poisonous plant and has caused deaths of children.
  • Saponins in the fruits and foliage cause gastro enteric irritation, drowsiness, fever, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions.
  • Fruit is slightly poisonous with alkaloid type reactions.
  • Deaths have been reported from ingestion.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=502187#null

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/duranta_erecta.htm

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/20192

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=287483&isprofile=0&

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=DUER

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=405771

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duranta_erecta

https://enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/11600989

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-65221

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Sky%20Flower.html

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/266148

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Duranta

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/DUTPL

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