Gold Mine Duranta
Duranta ‘Gold Mine’
This is an exciting new addition to the range of Duranta species already available in South Africa. Duranta ‘Gold Mine’ is a dense, compact shrub that bears leaves which are larger than most other Durantas. It is grown for its colourful foliage and does not bear flowers. The leaves are bright green surrounded by yellow edging, which intensifies to gold in the direct sun. It will grow to approximately three metres high and two metres wide, attaining its ultimate height in about three to four years. It is evergreen, requires a full sun position and is semi-hardy to frost. It looks good in a container and, as it bears thorns along the mature stems and is an extremely fast grower, it is also an excellent subject for a security hedge. Duranta ‘Gold Mine’ is available at leading nurseries countrywide.
The genus Duranta includes a number of tree and shrub species that originate in the tropical Americas and include many garden hybrids with variegated or colourful foliage. These are cultivated extensively in the warmer climates as quick-growing hedges and for training into topiaries or standards. One particular clone called ‘Goldmine’ has proved to be a useful addition to the palette of plants used in the ornamental garden. Duranta ‘Goldmine’ has larger leaves than most of the other types. They are prettily variegated – gold, with a central blotch of emerald green. In some instances they are completely yellow or gold. They have serrated leaf margins and can sport the occasional large thorn in the leaf axils. Plants grow rapidly into multi-branched shrubs and can attain a mature height of 3 m. Growth is dense and compact, especially if the shrubs are cut or clipped regularly. Unlike other durantas, ‘Goldmine’ seems to be extremely shy on flowering – I can’t recollect seeing any flowers on mature specimens.
Plant this type in full sun or dappled shade in well-drained soil, where it grows readily. In colder climates winter frost damage is a problem and may kill off young plants. A regular, monthly application of a balanced fertiliser, from spring through to autumn, improves the health and vigour of the shrubs. Being easy to grow and having a rapid growth rate makes ‘Goldmine’ an excellent subject for shaping.
The new foliage emerges rapidly after each successive clipping. Left to grow unchecked, it forms a dense boundary hedge or screen and remains neat and tidy for most of the year. Yellow- or golden-foliaged plants stand out in the garden, contrasting strongly with the predominantly green leaves of most other plants. Utilise this no-nonsense, foliage shrub to great effect by planting it in strategic places to highlight views or, conversely, to hide unsightly elements.