Duranta is a large erect shrub with a popular name inspired by the clusters of bright orange-yellow berries that follow the flowers, often causing the slender branches to droop gracefully. This plant is known for its lavender-blue or white flowers that appear in loose clusters and for both its berries and blossoms, which are often seen on the same plant. The flowers have a mild, sweet vanilla-like smell and there are also forms with variegated leaves and bright yellow leaves, which do not bloom as profusely but are usually grown primarily for their foliage.
Duranta requires frequent pruning to maintain a bushy shape, especially when used as a hedge, and needs full sun to bloom well. It is an easy-to-maintain plant that requires only moderate water and is highly salt tolerant, making it an excellent choice for planting near seashores. Duranta grows to be 5-10 feet tall as a shrub or 10-20 feet tall as a small tree.
In the garden, Duranta is often used as an ornamental shrub for its low-growing, sprawling habit and colorful clusters of fragrant white-to-off-white or blue-lavender-purple flowers. The attractive foliage of glossy green or variegated leaves adds interest to this plant and its color makes it suitable for use as a border. Duranta is also noted for its beauty when grown in pots, although in colder growing regions it is important to ensure that the pot is placed in a sheltered position and additional insulation is used to protect it in the winter months.
Not only is Duranta eye-catching, it is also wildlife-friendly, attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds. Planting a Duranta will enrich the garden with its vibrant colors, ornamental foliage, and delightful fragrance, making it a great asset for any garden design.