Pigeon Berry (Duranta Erecta ‘Gold Edge’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Pigeon Berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’)

Pigeon Berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) is a striking evergreen shrub known for its vibrant yellow and green foliage. This popular ornamental plant is valued for its versatility in landscaping, as well as its low maintenance requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the culture, uses, care tips, and interesting facts about the pigeon berry plant. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this article will provide valuable insights into caring for this variegated Duranta erecta cultivar.

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    • Gold Edge Duranta erecta wildlife benefits
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    • Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’ foliage color contrast

What is Pigeon Berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’)?

Pigeon Berry, scientifically known as Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’, is a cultivar of the species Duranta erecta. This evergreen shrub is characterized by its stunning variegated foliage, featuring vibrant yellow or gold-colored edges that contrast beautifully with the deep green leaves. It is a popular choice for landscaping due to its attractive appearance and the ease of maintenance it offers. Native to tropical regions, the pigeon berry plant is known for its ornamental value and versatility in various garden settings.

Plant Overview

Botanical Name: Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’
Common Name: Pigeon Berry, Golden Dewdrop
Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
Foliage: Variegated, with yellow or gold edges
Growth Habit: Upright, bushy
Uses: Ornamental, landscaping
Hardiness Zones: 8-11
Mature Height: 4-6 feet
Mature Spread: 4-6 feet
Flowers: Clusters of small, lavender-blue blossoms
Toxicity: Berries are potentially toxic if ingested

Now that we have a basic understanding of the pigeon berry plant, let’s delve into the details of its culture, uses, and care requirements.


Cultivating pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) involves understanding its specific cultural needs, including water requirements, sunlight, soil conditions, and fertilizer application. By providing the right growing conditions, you can ensure that the plant thrives and showcases its vibrant foliage to the fullest.


Ensuring adequate moisture is crucial for the healthy growth of pigeon berry plants. While they are relatively drought-tolerant once established, consistent watering is essential, especially during the establishment phase and dry periods. However, it is equally important to avoid waterlogging, as excessively wet conditions can lead to root rot and other issues.

Key Points:
Watering Frequency: Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
Soil Moisture: Maintain slightly moist, well-draining soil.
Avoid Waterlogging: Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogged roots.


Pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) thrives in full to partial sunlight. Adequate sunlight exposure is essential for promoting lush foliage and flower development. When selecting a planting location, it is advisable to choose a spot with sufficient sunlight, taking into account the plant’s mature size and potential for shading nearby areas.

Key Points:
Sun Exposure: Position in full to partial sunlight for best results.
Avoid Deep Shade: Insufficient light can result in leggy growth and reduced foliage vibrancy.


Applying a balanced fertilizer can support the growth and overall health of pigeon berry plants. A slow-release, granular fertilizer formulated for shrubs and ornamentals can provide the necessary nutrients for steady growth and vibrant foliage. It is important to follow the product instructions and avoid overfertilization, which can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of overall plant vigor.

Key Points:
Fertilization Schedule: Apply fertilizer in early spring and late summer.
Balanced Formula: Choose a balanced fertilizer (e.g., 10-10-10) for even nutrient uptake.
Avoid Overfertilization: Moderation is key to preventing fertilizer burn and excessive growth.


Well-draining, fertile soil is ideal for pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’). Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-aged manure, can improve its texture and nutrient content. Additionally, a slightly acidic to neutral pH range is suitable for this plant, providing an optimal environment for root development and nutrient uptake.

Key Points:
Soil Texture: Well-draining, loamy soil is preferable.
pH Range: Aim for slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0-7.0).
Organic Amendments: Incorporate compost or aged manure for soil enrichment.


Pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) offers a multitude of uses in garden landscapes and outdoor settings. Its striking foliage and relatively low maintenance requirements make it a versatile choice for various applications, from ornamental planting to hedge development and container gardening.


The vibrant, variegated foliage of pigeon berry makes it a sought-after plant for ornamental landscaping. Whether used as a focal point in garden beds or as part of a mixed border, its golden-edged leaves add visual interest and a pop of color to the landscape. The plant’s moderate size makes it suitable for both smaller gardens and larger landscapes, where it can be incorporated into foundation plantings, island beds, or as a backdrop for perennial displays.

Key Points:
Ornamental Value: Enhances visual appeal with its striking foliage.
Mixed Borders: Suitable for combining with flowering shrubs and perennials.
Adaptable Size: Fits well in various landscape settings due to its moderate size.

Hedge Planting

Pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) can be trained and pruned to form a dense, attractive hedge. Its natural bushy growth habit, coupled with regular trimming, allows for the creation of formal or informal hedges that serve as privacy screens, windbreaks, or decorative dividers within the landscape. The variegated foliage adds an extra dimension to hedge designs, providing year-round interest.

Key Points:
Trimming Requirements: Regular pruning maintains hedge shape and density.
Privacy Screening: Offers a visually appealing and functional barrier.
Year-Round Interest: Foliage color complements the hedge’s overall aesthetic.

Container Gardening

Due to its manageable size and ornamental foliage, pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) is well-suited for container planting. Whether showcased on a patio, deck, or balcony, the plant adds a touch of visual appeal and texture to outdoor living spaces. When grown in containers, it is essential to provide proper care, including regular watering and occasional feeding, to support healthy growth and prevent root congestion.

Key Points:
Container Size: Choose a spacious container to accommodate root development.
Drainage: Ensure adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
Seasonal Maintenance: Monitor water needs and adjust based on environmental conditions.

Now that we have explored the cultural aspects and uses of the pigeon berry plant, let’s shift our focus to its care requirements, including pruning, propagation, common diseases, and pest management.


Pruning pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) serves multiple purposes, including shaping the plant, managing its size, and promoting a compact, bushy form. Proper pruning techniques help maintain the plant’s visual appeal and prevent overgrowth, allowing for improved air circulation and sunlight penetration within the canopy.


The best time to conduct pruning is during the plant’s dormant or transitional periods, typically in late winter to early spring. This timing allows for the removal of dead or damaged branches, as well as the shaping of the plant before the onset of new growth in the growing season.

Key Points:
Late Winter to Early Spring: Conduct pruning before new growth emerges.
Avoiding Flower Bud Removal: Timing helps minimize disruption to bloom development.


When pruning pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’), it is important to use sharp, clean shears to make precise cuts. Removing crossing or crowded branches, as well as trimming for shape and size control, can enhance the plant’s overall appearance while stimulating healthy growth. Additionally, selective pruning can encourage the development of new shoots and promote foliage density.

Key Points:
Use Sharp Tools: Clean cuts promote faster healing and reduce the risk of disease.
Selective Pruning: Remove overcrowded or weak branches to encourage vigor.
Shaping Considerations: Trim for a balanced and aesthetically pleasing silhouette.


Routine maintenance pruning, such as the removal of spent flowers and occasional light trimming, contributes to the overall health and appearance of pigeon berry plants. Regular inspection for deadwood, disease symptoms, or signs of pest infestation allows for prompt intervention and the preservation of plant vitality.

Key Points:
Deadheading: Remove faded flowers to promote continuous blooming and tidiness.
Health Assessment: Monitor for signs of disease, pests, or structural issues.
Sanitation Practices: Clean tools and pruning debris to prevent the spread of pathogens.


Propagating pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) allows for the expansion of plant numbers and the preservation of desirable traits. Understanding the propagation methods suitable for this cultivar enables gardeners to create new plants for personal use or sharing with other enthusiasts.

Propagation Techniques

Pigeon berry plants can be propagated through several methods, including seed sowing, stem cuttings, and air layering. Each technique offers distinct advantages and challenges, and selecting the most appropriate approach depends on factors such as timing, resource availability, and desired success rates.

Key Points:
Seed Sowing: Requires stratification and patience for germination.
Stem Cuttings: Offers faster results using semi-hardwood sections during the growing season.
Air Layering: Produces rooted plants from branches while attached to the parent plant.


When propagating pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’), it is important to provide appropriate environmental conditions and care to encourage successful establishment and root development. Consistent moisture, optimal humidity, and protection from harsh environmental extremes support the propagation process and aid in the production of healthy new plants.

Key Points:
Rooting Medium: Use a well-draining, sterile medium for rooting cuttings.
Environmental Conditions: Maintain consistent moisture and appropriate humidity levels.
Transplanting Timing: Monitor root development before transplanting rooted cuttings.

Container Popularity

The compact size and ornamental nature of pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) make it a popular choice for container gardening. Whether showcased on patios, balconies, or entryways, the plant’s vibrant foliage adds a decorative touch to outdoor living spaces. Its adaptability to container culture allows for creative placement and versatile design options.

Key Points:
Space Optimization: Ideal for small outdoor areas with limited planting space.
Visual Impact: Contributes to colorful and textured container displays.
Seasonal Movement: Offers flexibility in relocating based on seasonal needs or design changes.

Common Diseases

Pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) is generally resistant to many common plant diseases. However, it may occasionally encounter issues related to fungal infections, particularly under conditions of high humidity or inadequate air circulation. By monitoring the plant’s health and practicing good cultural care, gardeners can minimize the risk of disease development.

Disease Diagnosis

Common diseases that may affect pigeon berry plants include leaf spot diseases, powdery mildew, and root rot. These conditions can manifest as foliar lesions, white powdery growth on leaves, or wilting and discoloration of the roots, respectively. Prompt identification and appropriate treatment strategies can help mitigate the impact of these diseases on plant health.

Key Points:
Visual Symptoms: Look for spots, patches, or unusual growth on foliage and stems.
Environmental Factors: Consider humidity levels and drainage as disease risk factors.
Targeted Treatments: Use fungicidal sprays or cultural adjustments for disease management.

Common Pests

While pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) is relatively resistant to many pests, it may occasionally attract certain insect visitors. Controlling common pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and caterpillars may be necessary to prevent aesthetic damage or stress to the plant. Implementing integrated pest management practices can help maintain pest populations at manageable levels.

Key Points:
Aphid Control: Use gentle sprays of water or insecticidal soap for infestation management.
Whitefly Prevention: Encourage natural predators and maintain plant health to deter whiteflies.
Caterpillar Inspection: Hand-pick or use targeted treatments for caterpillar control.

Now that we have covered the care aspects, diseases, and pests associated with pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’), let’s explore some additional insights and fun facts about this captivating plant.

Botanist’s Tips

Versatile Use

Pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) offers versatility in garden settings, serving as a standalone specimen, a colorful addition to mixed borders, or a textural element in container displays. Its adaptability to different light conditions and soil types further enhances its appeal and makes it a valuable choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Wildlife Attraction

The clusters of small, lavender-blue blossoms produced by pigeon berry plants have the potential to attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees to the garden. Additionally, the berries, though toxic to humans, may serve as a food source for certain bird species, adding ecological value to the landscape.

Drought Tolerance

Once established, pigeon berry exhibits good drought tolerance, making it suitable for regions with periodic water scarcity. While it benefits from regular watering, particularly during hot and dry periods, the plant has the ability to survive and maintain its ornamental appeal under moderate drought conditions.

Sunlight Flexibility

Although pigeon berry thrives in full to partial sunlight, it demonstrates a degree of adaptability to varying light conditions. This characteristic allows for flexible placement within the landscape, making it suitable for areas with dappled shade or moderate sunlight exposure.

With its visual allure and practical qualities, pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’) proves to be an intriguing addition to garden landscapes and outdoor settings. Its unique features and enticing aesthetics contribute to its growing popularity among gardening enthusiasts.

Fun Facts

  • The species name “erecta” refers to the plant’s upright growth habit, showcasing a bushy, vertical form.
  • In some regions, pigeon berry is also known as “Golden Dewdrop,” reflecting the appearance of its yellow and green foliage.
  • The versatility of pigeon berry extends to urban environments, where it can be utilized for green spaces and decorative plantings.
  • While its toxic berries make pigeon berry unsuitable for consumption, they contribute to the plant’s attractiveness to wildlife, including birds and certain insects.

Links to External Resources

For further information and resources related to pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’), consider exploring the following links:

  1. University of Florida IFAS Extension: Duranta erecta
  2. Missouri Botanical Garden: Duranta erecta
  3. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Golden Dewdrop

This concludes our in-depth guide to the pigeon berry plant (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’). By understanding its culture, uses, care requirements, and unique characteristics, gardeners can appreciate and effectively cultivate this stunning shrub in their outdoor spaces.

By delving into the intricacies of pigeon berry (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’), we have gained valuable insights into its cultivation, uses, and maintenance. This comprehensive guide provides a thorough understanding of this ornamental shrub, from its cultural requirements to its appeal in various garden settings. With an array of practical suggestions and interesting facts, gardeners are better equipped to embrace the beauty and versatility of the pigeon berry plant in their own landscapes.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.