Duranta erecta (syn. D. repens, D. plumeri) is an ornamental plant most often used for hedging.
It has been variously described as “…the most popular hedging plant in Australia…a beautiful and fragrant screen…drought tolerant…(with)…clusters of purple flowers followed by bunches of golden berries…(that are)… attractive to bees, butterflies and bird.”
The Queensland Government Poisons Information Centre places Duranta erecta in Toxicity Categories 1 and 2. There are many other non-native and native plants also listed in Categories 1 and 2.
The leaves, fruit and bark of Duranta erecta (and all cultivars) are all poisonous. Not only recorded as causing gastro-intestinal irritation, vomiting and diarrhoea in humans; it is also toxic to dogs and cats with those affected displaying symptoms
of drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhoea, melaena, hyperaesthesia, tetanic seizures and intestinal haemorrhage.
Duranta is regarded by many people as an environmental weed in some bushland districts. Specimens in the bush have occurred as a result of seed dispersal by birds and bats; by the re-location of seeds due to gravity and flood; by people dumping garden waste that carry seeds; and in some cases, the direct result of historical plantings on properties edging bushland.
Native plant alternatives are also looked at.