Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spanish Flag

Spanish Flag
Lantana camara 'Luscious Citrus Blend'
(lan-TAN-a) (kuh-MAR-uh)

In keeping with the random theme that developed here this post deals with another tough and not thirsty annual flower. Lantana is a dependable plant that is native to the tropical areas of Africa and the Americas. It has spread as an introduced species in many other areas and is considered a weed in some places. We grow it here as a seasonal plant and have never had any trouble with it seeding. Lantana has many uses including display plantings, containers and butterfly gardens.

This cultivar exhibits a common trait among Lantanas as the flowers change color as they age leading to a multicolored display on the same plant. This cultivar is also said to have color variations due to the amount of heat the garden gets. They like to grow in full sun and don’t need much water. Some Lantana I have grown have been completely wilted and after application of some water have returned to form barely missing a beat. They don’t need much attention but I think they taller varieties benefit from a quick snipping the long branch ends to promote bushiness. The metallic berries are said to be poisonous but there is some debate about that. The birds seem to relish them.

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