Duranta is a genus of flowering plants in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. It contains 17 species of shrubs and small trees that are native from southern Florida to Mexico and South America. They are commonly cultivated as hedges and ornamental plants. The Duranta flowering plant (Duranta erecta) may reach up to 10 feet (3 m.) in height, and flowers profusely from summer until the first heavy frost. The shrub-like plant is multi-stemmed and the branches are somewhat droopy. The stems may have sharp spines. Orchid-like flowers may be light blue to light purple in color. Some plants develop loads of yellow, ball-shaped drupes. Chemicals in the fruit may make them poisonous to humans, but harmless to birds that enjoy them immensely.