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LANTANA

Image of Lantana

David L. Morgan

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

LANTANA

Plant Common Name

Lantana

General Description

Lantana is a genus comprised mostly of tropical shrubs. There are close to 150 accepted species. These traverse the globe, but most originate from the Americas, Africa and Australasia. There are hundreds of cultivated varieties, most variants of the ever-popular flowering shrub and tender perennial, Lantana camera . The other commonly cultivated species is the trailing, violet-flowered shrub, Lantana montevidensis .

Cultivated lantanas are widely popular because they are wonderfully easy to grow, very colorful and both heat and drought tolerant. Their flowers are borne in colorful, often multicolored, clusters of small tubular flowers. These are butterfly pollinated. In fact, their blooms are multicolored because they offer temporal color cues to pollinators. In the case of Lantana camera , their pink flower buds open to yellow and age to orange and finally to scarlet-pink. Only yellow flowers have a nectar reward, so butterflies know to only to visit these. Lantana blooms may also be golden yellow, apricot, violet-blue, or white. Lantana foliage is often medium to dark green, coarse, evergreen and strongly scented.

Cultural requirements and hardiness is species dependent, but most are sun-loving and tender. In tropical locations they are often grown along foundations or trained into standards, and in temperate locations they are favored as container and bedding plants.

Characteristics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, Polynesia, Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Orange, Gold, Pink, Magenta, Coral, Blue Violet, Orange Red, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes