(Last Updated on : 04-07-2013)
The 'Golden Dewdrops Tree' is known to the scientists of the world as 'Duranta Plumieri'. The tree was named as 'Duranta' in order to show respect to the Papal physician and botanist Castore Durante, who worked in Rome in the 16th C. The tree is very much well known to India at the moment and this evergreen tree belongs to the family of 'Verbenaceae'. Though it has no such names in different languages of India, but it is called as 'Sky Flower' and 'Pigeon Berry' in English except this name.
The tree is such a beautiful one that it can be very suitable as a garden tree or more specifically as a hedge. It can rise up to 2 m or more in height when it is not pruned. It spreads out and it has some firm branches that are brown in colour. It also bears some long flower sprays that are elegantly arched. When clipped, it can grow stoutly and neatly. However, as the charm of the plant may loose its charm, it should not be regularly clipped. Not only this, its lovely, cool flowers will not be allowed to make their appearance also if the 'Golden Dewdrops Tree' is cut down regularly.
The masses of small, mauve coloured flowers remain in clusters and they stand out outstandingly from the close darkness of the leaves. Each of the clusters bears several flowers that are like horns in shape. The flowers are normally less than 1.3 cm across in size. They consist of a close, green coloured calyx and a short tube that has yellow colour in the centre. The flowers also contain two lips. The upper lip is divided into three curvy lobes and the lower one into two. Each of the lower lip has a purple streak in the centre. During the months of January and February, the 'Golden Dewdrops Tree' remains in its fullest blossom. However, in some exceptional occasions, you may see a few flowers on one plant or another all through the dry season. The fruits of the tree appear immediately after flowering. The fruits are totally unexpected and although you will see the flowers and fruits side by side always, you will definitely find great difficulty in believing the fact that both of them belong to the same plant. The fruits as well as the flowers appear in a large amount and each spray looses with the weight of the round shaped and orange coloured berries. The fruits are shiny and soft having brilliant contrast with the flimsy flowers and deep foliage.
The leaves of the 'Golden Dewdrops Tree' are small in size and pointed. Their shapes are like ovals and they are of dark green colour in most of the evergreen trees. They grow closely along the branches and the branchlets. There are some variations in their size. Sometimes, they have indent edges and they are often twisted or rounded as well. The underside of the leave is paler and a little velvety. The plant does not bear a large number of medicinal or economical uses. However, some people claim that if the berries are steeped in liquid, they can be proved as deadly to gnats and mosquitoes.