Sunday, July 10, 2011


Lantana camara ( Common Lantana )
An evergreen shrub in tropical climates, perennial in subtropical climates and annual in cold climates, this versitile plant can reach anywhere between 2 feet to a massive 20 x 20 foot shrub with a 3 inch diameter trunk. It is sometimes used as a sheared hedge in the tropics and some of the larger forms can be trained as a tree standard.
Very fast growing, Lantana will often reach up to 3 feet in height during the first year. Lantana camara is native to Central and South America. In some tropical regions it should not be grown as it can become a rampant pest and invade agricultural land ( esp. in Hawaii ). In temperate regions it is much more tame and rarely spreads on its own. The Lantana genus is part of the large Verbenaceae family.
The thick, wrinkled, pointed, oval leaves, up to 6 ( usually half ) inches in length, are luxuriant deep green.
The very small, tubular flowers are borne in rounded heads, up to 2 inches across, from spring through autumn. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 ( root hardy as perennial to zone 8 if mulched ), in full sun on well drained soil. Common Lantana is very salt, heat and wind tolerant, tolerating strong ocean breezes. They have an extensive root structure and become very drought tolerant once established. It is generally ignored by deer.
Shear young plants to encourage dense habit.
Propagate from semi-ripe cuttings taken during summer.

* photo taken on July 7 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

'Miss Huff'
A hardy Lantana ( root hardy north to zone 7 ) that can reach up to 6 x 6 feet in the first year and reach a maximum size of 10 x 6 feet if not cut back by frosts ( otherwise its a perennial ).
The profuse yellow, orange and pink flowers are borne early summer to late autumn. It is generally fruitless, eliminating potential invasiveness.

* photos taken on July 11 2014 in Washington, DC

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

'New Gold'
Reaches a maximum size of 3 x 8 feet with rich golden-yellow flowers borne continuously. Does not produce seeds. Root hardy north to zone 8+

* photo of unknown internet source

'Orange Crush'
Similar to 'Miss Huff' except with orangish-red flowers. 'Miss Tara' is very similar.

* photo taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* photo taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

'Pink Crush'
Similar to 'Miss Huff' except with pink flowers.

Moderate growing and dense in habit, reaching a maximum size of only 5 x 5 feet, with neon orange flowers.

* photo taken on July 7 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo of unknown internet source

Variegated foliage and yellow flowers borne continuously and not producing seed.

'Snow White'
Upright in habit, reaching up to 3 x 7 feet as a perennial ( less as annual ).
The deep green leaves are large.
The pure white ( with yellow center ) flowers are borne on clusters, up to 1.5 inches across. Cut back after each flush of blooms to encourage repeat blooming and vigor. It does not need much deadheading since it only produces seed pods sparsly.

* photos taken on July 13 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

'Spreading Sunset'
Spreading in habit, reaching up to 3 x 8 feet, bearing rounded flower heads that range from orangish-yellow to soft pink.
Hardy zones 9 to 11

Lantana montevidensis ( Trailing Lantana )
A spreading, mat-forming, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 7 x 10 ( rarely over 3 ) feet though usually much shorter. It is native to southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. It is invasive and has become a weed in many regions outside its natural range where it is even known to poison cattle when it invades rangeland.
The toothed, oval leaves are mid-green.
The tiny, rose-purple ( with yellow eye ) flowers are borne on dense heads during summer in cool climates, all year in tropical regions.
Hardy zones 8b to 11 ( it can become perennial at 28 F ) in ful sun on moist, fertile, well drained soil.
Pinch tips of shoots when young to encourage bushy habit.
Propagation is from semi-ripe cuttings taken during summer or seed sown in spring.

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