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Duranta erecta (VERBENACEAE) Duranta

Image: Habit

An upright to drooping shrub that sometimes takes the form of a scrambling shrub or rarely a small tree.

A native of Mexico, Central America, South America to Argentina, southern Florida (possibly naturalized), Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the West Indies (Howard 1989, Liogier 1995, Little and others 1974).

A problem weed found in densely forested areas along waterways.

A poisonous plant has caused deaths of children. Saponins in the fruits and foliage cause gastroenteric irritation, drowsiness, fever, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions.

Not common in the catchment. Weed risk: low. (General risk due to toxicity: extreme.)

Leaves (sometimes with spines at the base) are simple and opposite in pairs or in threes. Leaves mostly entire, sometimes serrated. The petiole is about 1cm.

Blue or purple flowers are tubular with lobes (petals). The lower lobes have a dark stripe.

Fruit are large clusters of orange or yellow rounded drupes.