One of my favorite heat-loving plants, Duranta erecta is a show-stopper for most of the summer here in Central Texas.
I grow four different varieties: Alba-white, Sapphire showers-deep purple, lavender, and gold mound-with lime green foliage.
Bright yellow berries, about ½ inch in diameter, spill in long, trailing clusters in the summer. (The berries are poisonous to humans.)
My favorite is the sapphire showers – it’s vibrant purple – white-edged blooms are dramatic in my tropical garden. It also attracts bees, butterflies and birds.
My white Duranta has special sentimental meaning to me. It was a gift, given to me by two dear friends at my office, when my dog, Sami, spent 11 days in emergency vet care for the worst case of pancreatitis my vet had ever seen. We didn’t think she was going to make it. So my friends brought me this amazing tree. It was such a loving, generous gift. Against all odds, Sami recovered and went on to live another 5 years, even surviving cancer after that. After the passage of 19 years, and the passing of my sweet Sami almost 14 years ago, their kindness and my miracle still bring tears to my eyes when I look at the Duranta.
This is my miracle Duranta. For me, the white blooms will always represent the hope in my heart.