Lantana sports two colors per bloom.

All flowers that need help with getting pollinated do what they can to attract pollinators. The tiny flowers of lantana, Lantana camara, actually put forth a bit of extra effort to improve the efficiency of their pollinators, by becoming less attractive once pollinated. Within each tightly set flower cluster, pollinated flowers fade to an alternate color to inform pollinators that their services are no longer needed. This prioritizes flowers than still await pollination. Consequently, each small cluster exhibits flowers of two different colors. The choices are red, orange, yellow, pink, purplish pink or white.

The small and aromatic leaves are arranged in alternating pairs on thin stems that do not get much higher or wider than three feet. Established plants can survive with very minimal watering, but bloom better with somewhat regular watering. The summer bloom is very attractive to butterflies.

Trailing lantana, Lantana montevidensis, has limber stems that sprawl a few feet over the ground without getting a foot deep. It cascades nicely over retaining walls or from large planters. Flowers are shades of lavender, or sometimes white.

15 thoughts on “Lantana

  1. Something I discovered this year is the Lantana attracts hummingbirds. I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors with the deer this year and was quite surprised to see numerous hummingbirds on the lantana. I also find, because of their scent, they tend to repel insects.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, hummingbirds dig them, especially the bright orange sort. Butterflies enjoy them also. The floral structure suggests that they try to appeal to butterflies more than other pollinators, but hummingbirds have similar taste, even those who do not naturally live within the same native range.

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  2. I quite enjoy Lantana in containers. I haven’t had much luck with it in the ground, although I’ve seen it used quite effectively in other people’s gardens. I did not realize why the color change happened; I always assumed they just changed as they aged a bit. I find it crucial to keep them deadheaded, or they will stop blooming. This was the first year I’ve seen them in lavender–pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deadheading must be a terrible chore! They bloom so prolifically and get so big. All of ours are in the ground. I would be hesitant to grow it in a container, since I suspect that it is susceptible to rot.

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