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BRIEF: Is Golden Dew Drop poisonous?


QUESTION:
I was given a bush called "Golden Dew Drop". It's botonanical name is Duranta erecta. This bush is covered with blue flowers and yellow, capsule like fruit. Is this fruit poisonous? I cannot find any information on the fruit.

ANSWER:

Yes, the fruit and foliage are poisonous if eaten. Westbrooks and Preacher (Poisonous Plants of eastern North America, p175) note that "Saponins in the fruit and foliage cause gastrointestinal irritation, chiefly to the intestinal mucosa, drowsiness, fever, nausea, vomiting, convulsions and even death in serious cases; dermatitis may also occur if handled. Children have been poisoned by the fruits with some deaths." I have no first-hand knowledge of this plant and so can not verify the plant's effects from personal experience. Sounds like a beautiful native plant for a garden. Just don't eat it!