Duranta erecta L.

Last updated: 25 Apr 2017

Scientific Name

Duranta erecta L.


Duranta angustifolia Salisb., Duranta dentata Pers., Duranta ellisiae Jacq., Duranta erecta var. alba (Mast.) Caro, Duranta erecta var. erecta, Duranta erecta var. grandiflora (Moldenke) Caro, Duranta inermis L., Duranta integrifolia Tod., Duranta latifolia Salisb., Duranta macrodonta Moldenke, Duranta microphylla Willd., Duranta microphylla Desf., Duranta plumieri Jacq., Duranta plumieri var. alba Mast., Duranta plumieri var. ellisia (Jacq.) Woodrow, Duranta plumieri var. ellisiae (Jacq.) F.M.Bailey, Duranta plumieri var. glabra Hieron. ex Niederl., Duranta plumieri var. normalis F.M.Bailey [Invalid], Duranta plumieri var. strigillosa Schauer, Duranta plumieri f. variegata F.M.Bailey, Duranta racemosa Mill., Duranta repens L., Duranta repens f. acuminata Kuntze, Duranta repens f. acuta (L.) Kuntze, Duranta repens var. alba (Mast.) L.H.Bailey, Duranta repens f. alba (Mast.) Matuda, Duranta repens var. canescens Moldenke, Duranta repens f. canescens (Moldenke) Moldenke, Duranta repens var. ellisia (F.M.Bailey) Domin, Duranta repens var. ellisiae (Jacq.) R.R.Fernandez, Duranta repens f. glabrifolia Kuntze, Duranta repens f. grandiflora (Moldenke) Moldenke, Duranta repens var. grandiflora Moldenke, Duranta repens f. integrifolia (Tod.) Moldenke, Duranta repens var. lopez-palacii Moldenke, Duranta repens f. microphylla (Willd.) Moldenke, Duranta repens var. microphylla (Willd.) Moldenke, Duranta repens var. multidentata Kuntze, Duranta repens var. mutisii Kuntze, Duranta repens f. obtusifolia Kuntze, Duranta repens var. paucidentata Kuntze, Duranta repens var. serrata Moldenke, Duranta repens f. serrata (Moldenke) Moldenke, Duranta repens f. variegata (F.M.Bailey) Domin, Duranta repens f variegata (L.H.Bailey) Moldenke, Duranta repens var. variegata L.H.Bailey, Duranta repens f. vestita Kuntze, Duranta spinosa Mill., Duranta turbinata Tod., Duranta xalapensis Kunth, Ellisia acuta L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Duranta [2]
English Brazillian sky-flower, creeping skyflower, dewdrop, forget-me-not bush, forget-me-not tree, garden dewdrop, golden tears, pigeon berry, [3] golden dewdrop, duranta, sky flower, [4] yellow hat tree, angel’s whisper, geisha girl, sheena’s gold [5]
China Jia lian qiao [3]
India Duranta, gadyakonta, huchhu aelasi, husiaelasi, kujuri, narinam-poulli, samban lei, sambanlei [3]
Nepal Nil kanda [3]
Indonesia Kacar [2][3]
Thailand Tien thong [2]
Philippines Duranta [3]
Japan Taiwan-rengyô [3]
South Africa Geelbessie, kraaldoring, vergeet-my-nie-boom, wolwedoring [3]
Madagascar Diveanta [3]
Brazil Grao de galo [6]
Colombia Adonis blanco, adonis morado, garbancillo, espino negro [6]
Cuba Celosa cimarrona, celosa, garbancillo, no me olvides, violetina [6]
Dominican Republic Fruta de paloma [6]
El Salvador Heliotropio, chulada [6]
Haiti Bois jambette, mais bouilli [6]
Jamaica Angels-whisper, poison macca [6]
Mexico Espina blanca, capocoche [6]
Nicaragua Pensamiento, heliotropo morado [6]
Panama Espina de paloma, lora, barita de San José [6]
Ouerto Rico Lluvia, azota, caballo, lila, cuenta de oro [6].

Geographical Distributions

Duranta erecta is a native of South America and the Caribbean Islands. It has been introduced to the world as ornamental and as live fences. [7]

Botanical Description

D. erecta is a member of the Verbenaceae family. It is an extremely variable plant developing into a vine, shrub or small tree of 5 m tall. Branching are profuse making it ideal for border plant and live fencing. [8]

The leaves are opposite with blades 4 cm x 2 cm and dull light green on both surfaces. [8]

The flowers are showy, tubular, 9 mm. They may be blue to lavender arranged along a curved stalk. [8]

The fruits are 9 mm glossy, oval with an attractive bright yellow colour. [8]

The flesh is bitter and there are usually 8 seeds in one fruit. [8]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

The leaves are used in Perak to poultice wounds, ulcers and pruritus as well as to reduce fever. [4]

This plant also has been used as ornamental plant. In Cuba the Afro-Cuban community make use of the plant (part not specified) to treat throat infection. [6]

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

Fruits. [5][9]


The toxicant is unknown, but it contains an array of saponins, flavonoids and other compounds including lamiide, naringenin, and the monoterpenoid durantoside I, II, III, as well as the iridoid glucoside duranterectosides A, B, C, and D. These compounds may be of some toxicologic importance. Some of the flavonoids have thrombin and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity [5]. Reports of poisoning with them have occurred only in Australia where it was said to have causes illness and death of children in Queensland [9][10].

Risk management

It is better that other plants be used as live fences instead of D. erecta because its attractive looking fruit sometimes attracts the attention of children especially curious toddlers. It is best to avoid children coming in contact with the plant [5][9].

Poisonous clinical findings

Effects of ingestion of the fruit of D. erecta are manifested in the gastrointestinal and neurological systems. An initial symptom of toxicity is seen affecting the gastrointestinal tract in the form of irritations such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and sometimes stringy salivation. Subsequent to this victim may develop drowsiness and collapse followed by hyperaesthesia and tetanic-like seizures. Death has been reported from ingestion of the fruit. There were reports of victim developing sleepiness, fever, tachycardia swelling of lips and eyelids apart from the gastrointestinal irritations and convulsions [5][9][10][11].


In cases of intoxication by D. erecta, the treatment is directed toward the relief of the specific signs including by gastric lavage, activated charcoal, maintenance of fluids and electrolytes balance, and using diazepam, pentobarbital, or general anaesthesia to control seizures [5][9].

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Duranta erecta L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2017 Apr 25]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-65221.
  2. Warren W, Invernizzi L. Tropical flowers. Singapore:  Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd, 1998; p. 57.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 798-799.
  4. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p. 286.
  5. Burrows GE, Tyrl RJ. Toxic plants of North America. Ames, Iowa: John Wiley & Sons, 2013; p. 1200-1201.
  6. Quiros-Moran D. Guide to Afro-Cuban herbalism. Bloomington, Indiana: Author House, 2009; p. 207.
  7. Hanelt P. Mandfeld’s encyclopedia of agriculutral andhorticultural crops. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 2001; p. 1933.
  8. Nellis DW. Poisonous plants and animals of Florida and Caribbean. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1997; p. 77-78.
  9. Turkington C, Mitchell DR. Encyclopedia of poisons and antidotes. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010; p. 114.
  10. Fuller TC. Poisonous plants of California. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986; p. 257.
  11. Foster S, Caras RA, Peterson. Field guide to venomousanimals and poisonous plants. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1994; p. 170.