Few plants supply as much long-lasting, dependable color as these tough-as-nails tropical American natives. Tiny flowers in tight clusters that resemble miniature nosegays appear continuously in warm weather. Foliage gives off a pungent odor when brushed against or crushed. Small fruit usually follows the flowers, maturing from green to bluish black; some selections are fruitless. Lantanas thrive in hot, dry weather and tolerate just about any well- drained soil, growing well even near the beach. They're a magnet for butterflies. Plant them in masses, let them cascade over a wall, or display them in window boxes, hanging baskets, or planters. Deer don't usually care for lantana species, but they may browse hybrid types.
- The most popular species in the South, and one of two used in hybridizing (the other is Lantana montevidensis).
- Coarse, upright plant to 6 feet tall and wide.
- Rough-textured, dark green leaves are oval and pointed, to 4 inches long.
- Yellow, orange, or red flowers in 1- to 2 inches clusters.
- Native to southern Texas and Mexico.
- Prickly, coarse shrub, to 3 feet (rarely 6 feet.) tall and wide.
- Broadly oval leaves to 3 inches long have pointed tips and coarsely toothed edges.
- Spreads by shoots that root where they touch the ground.
- Good ground cover on very dry sites in full sun.
- Flowers open yellow, age to orange.
- Along with Lantana camara, this species is used extensively in breeding.
- A little hardier than Lantana camara, it's a ground cover to about 2 feet high, with branches trailing to 3 feet or even 6 feet Dark green, inch-long leaves have coarsely toothed edges; sometimes tinged red or purplish, especially in winter.
- Rosy lilac flowers in 1- to 1 inches-wide clusters.
- Lavender Swirl is a larger form that produces white, lavender, and white-and-lavender flower clusters.
- Sunny Daze has leaves attractively edged in creamy yellow and grows more slowly than the species.
- White Lightnin looks similar but has pure white flowers; it too is a slow grower.
lantana selections and hybrids
- In this list, some of the selections are forms of Lantana camara or hybrids between those forms; others are hybrids resulting from crosses between Lantana camara and Lantana montevidensis.
- Lantanas are considered invasive in some areas.
- Gardeners there should plant fruitless or nearly fruitless selections (noted).
- Plants have compact growth to 22 feet high and wide.
- Large flowers open yellow and turn orange, pink, or cherry-red.
Chapel Hill Yellow
- To 1 feet by 23 feet Golden yellow.
- To 6 feet by 5 feet Cerise-pink.
- Can be trained into a small patio tree.
- To 23 feet by 68 feet Blossoms in a mix of yellow, pink, and purple.
- To 34 feet by 35 feet Deep red.
- Nearly fruitless.
- To 3 feet by 35 feet Golden yellow.
- To 12 feet by 46 feet Rich golden yellow.
Ham and Eggs
- To 2 feet by 4 feet Pink with creamy yellow center.
- To 3 feet by 4 feet Compact.
- Clusters feature magenta and lemon-yellow flowers.
- Dense, mounding plants to 1 feet tall, 2 feet wide, in colors of orange, gold, white, peach, pink, and rose.
- Neat, uniform growth; great in borders.
- Slow growing to 2 feet tall, 3 feet wide.
- Bright yellow band around each leaf; yellow flowers.
- Bloom early.
- Good for containers.
- To 35 feet by 10 feet Orange and pink.
- Hardier than other lantanas, surviving 3F.
- Nearly fruitless.
- To 23 feet by 68 feet Golden yellow.
- Plants range from 1215 inches high and wide to 45 feet tall and wide, depending on selection.
- Flowers in single shade and different combinations of yellow, pink, purple, orange, and red.
- Nearly fruitless.
- To 1 feet by 3 feet Pink and cream.
- To 35 feet high and wide.
- Rich orange-red.
- To 2 feet tall and wide.
- Cream blossoms with golden yellow centers.
- To 23 feet by 68 feet Vivid orange-red.
- To 23 feet by 68 feet Bright yellow.
- To 2 feet by 68 feet Yellow and orange to red and orange.
- Hardy and fruitless.
- To 23 feet by 68 feet Bright golden yellow.
Sunny Side Up
- To 1 feet by 3 feet Open yellow changing to white with yellow center.
- To 23 feet by 68 feet Burnt orange.
- Zone TS; USDA 10-11.
- Somewhat rangy, sparsely branched shrub to 35 feet tall and half as wide.
- Medium green leaves to 5 inches long, whorled around branches in groups of three.
- Dense clusters of pink, lavender, or purple blossoms appear in conjunction with showy spikes of lavender-purple fruit that resembles that of beautyberry (Callicarpa).
Lantanas are treated as annuals in most of the Upper and Middle South, as perennials elsewhere. Where they overwinter, prune back hard in early spring to remove dead wood and encourage vigorous new growth. Unpruned plants may become large, woody shrubs. Feed and water lightly, as too much fertilizer and water will reduce bloom.