|Scientific Name||Duranta erecta|
|Common Name||Duranta bush|
|Info||"Family Name: Verbenaceae Summary: Durantas are perennial evergreen plants that can be found as trees or shrubs. Nativity/Habitat: Durantas are native to Mexico, Central America, South America, Bermuda, Bahamas, and West Indies. They are also naturalized in southern Florida. Typically grows in the wild in dry coastal areas near sea level to 100 m in elevation. Morphology/Physiology: -Foliage: Takes the form of a drooping to scrambling shrub and sometimes a small tree. The crowns are replete with fine branches. Leaves are light green, simple, opposite, elliptic to ovate, have serrated margins, and 1 to 3 in long. Thorns can be found on the underside of each leave along the rachis. -Trunk/Branches: Matures to a height of 18 ft. There are typically several stems arising from below and just above the ground. Bark on the branches is light gray that can become rough and fissured when it matures. -Flower: Flowering occurs in spring and summer. Flowers are found on terminal or axillary racemes and can be light blue, lavender, or white. They have five lobes and are tubular in shape. -Fruit/Seed: Fruiting occurs in spring and summer. Fruits grow in hanging clusters. These fleshy fruits are 0.5 in in diameter, yellow-orange in coloration, and are ellipsoidal with five lobes. The fruits may contain up to eight nutlets. Fruits hang in trailing clusters. -Roots: Develops tap and lateral root structures with ample fine roots. Growth Requirements: It is moderately intolerant of shade so durantas are usually planted with low shrubs and sparse grasses and herbs. They can tolerate drought and poor soil conditions. Uses/Fun Facts: The genus name ìDurantaî is derived from the name of an Italian botanist Castore Durantes and the species name ìerectaî is Latin for upright. Durantaís nectar attracts wildlife such as butterflies and hummingbirds while its berries are eaten by birds. Pests such as mealy bugs, caterpillars, and nematodes are also attracted to durantas. It is, however, poisonous to humans. Specifically, saponins found in its fruits and foliage can cause gastroenteric irritation, drowsiness, fever, nausea, vomiting, and confulsions. Ethyl acetate extracted from its leaves has been found to have antimalarial properties. Written by Rose O'Donovan"|
|Found By||"Douglas Franz, Angel Aquino"|
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