Flower of the Day – Duranta

So here I am, taking photos of some of the flowers in my garden.  I admit that’s nothing new and, in fact, I actually did that a couple of days ago and now I’m sitting here making my selection to post for the Flower of the Day (FOTD) photo challenge hosted by Cee’s Photography.

And I’ve done just that.  I even selected a flower that is my favourite colour.

Duranta Erecta or Duranta Blue

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

As is my custom, I allowed my fingers to do the walking to discover more information about this plant and I must admit that what I found was quite confusing.

While one website stated that this plant is:

A tropical powerhouse, the golden dewdrop plant (more commonly known as Duranta) is a fast-growing tropical shrub with beautiful blooms and fantastic foliage.  With the potential to become quite large where they are hardy (some varieties reaching over 15 feet!), these plants make great, quick-growing, warm-season annuals, and can even act as houseplants. Grown primarily for its bountiful blue blooms, many varieties of Duranta also have highly ornamental golden foliage. 

The next one says: 

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.

And then finally, on the Queensland Government’s website, the following can be found:

Duranta is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control. 

So it would seem that I have an invasive ‘weed’ on my hands and I’m responsible for ensuring it doesn’t add to an existing environmental problem in the area in which I live.

I can do that 🙂

Further investigation reveals I have several plants listed as ‘weeds’ – Yukka’s, several types of asparagus ferns and mock orange.

There are a few more plants on the list that I have had in the past but (now) will not have moving into the future.

All of this leads me to ask:

Why are nurseries allowed to (firstly) stock and (secondly) sell plants that are not so kind to our native environment and why are these (not so kind to the environment) plants sold without warning labels?

My next entry for Cee’s FOTD will be something not listed as an invasive plant.

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

16 thoughts

  1. I planted a Duranta Repens hedge – 70 small plants! – and certainly don’t remember any thorns on them. I think if you live in a city there’s little chance of plants escaping into the environment, most of the birds we see remain in the area. I bought Swan Bushes from Bunnings, then discovered they are considered a No-No but they haven’t self seeded at all. There were no warnings on the labels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most nursery websites I’ve visited use the words “beautiful flower specimen” to describe Duranta – and that’s not incorrect, mine is quite stunning at the moment and I’m sure your hedge is just like my plant x 70 🙂 If plants did come with warning labels they would alter my selections when making a purchase for sure. Lantana kills cows! And they continue to sell it!


      1. I have a couple of Lantana plants here and they struggle to survive but I know in Qld it’s a menace. My Duranta hedge is long gone, we sold the small house and now there are two double story houses on the block and minimal garden space. That’s “progress”. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a very good question – particularly as the golden berries and green leaves are toxic to humans and can seriously poison or kill pets!

    Birds however, seem to be able to eat them without harm.

    I have the duranta ‘geisha girl’ cultivar, very similar looking to yours with a white border around each petal. It is having it’s best blooming season ever and is around 2 m tall and the same wide… but i have never noticed any thorns on it? I do not recall any warnings on the label from the nursery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Geisha Girl’ rings a bell. I’ll have to go see if the tag is still attched as I think mine might be that cultivar as well. It was a gift from my cousin and it’s also having an amazing flowering season, it’s so vibrant and full of flowers. I’ll just make sure I remove those berries before the birds do.

      Liked by 1 person

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