Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Golden dewdrop--Elizabeth Smith

Golden dewdrop, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

Golden dewdrop
Verbena family

This lovely shrub is blooming right now in southwest Florida. Once thought to be native to the Florida Keys, this status is questionable and newer references label it as a probable introduced ornamental. I bought this plant years ago to attract birds, bees, and butterflies, and to add it to my other native plantings. Oh well…the birds do like the berries, and a mockingbird nested there earlier this year. The foliage is very dense now, and the older woody branches develop thorns in the leaf axils; a perfect hideaway for birds!

The Duranta part of the scientific name refers to an Italian physician of the 16th century, Castor Durante, who also studied botany and published herbals. The species name repens means “spreading.” It does have beautifully spreading and arching branches; it’s a very graceful plant. As I browse the web further to learn more, I’m a bit saddened to see that it’s become an invasive exotic in Australia.

Click on the image to go to my Flickr photostream in order to see it larger.

~ Elizabeth Smith
Naples, Florida, USA


  1. How beautiful, Elizabeth, thank you for posting! I had no idea they were poisonous...

    Love the bit of history, too.

  2. Such a beauty! and I highly value anything that attracts mockingbirds...I'm fascinated listening to them run through their repertoire!

  3. Elizabeth your work is always impeccable.

  4. Lovely botanical portrait, Elizabeth, and such interesting notes and description, too.

  5. Your pages are so wonderful and this one is amazing. I also love your composition.

  6. Thank you everyone...this page really composed itself, the stems have such nice arching lines to them. I was so happy to get the violet colors right and then even more happy when they scanned well!


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