Lantana camara L.
Lantana aculeata L.
Lantana camara L. var. aculeata (L.) Moldenke
Lantana camara L. var. flava (Medik.) Moldenke
Lantana camara L. var. hybrida (Neubert) Moldenke
Lantana camara L. var. mista (L.) L.H. Bailey
Lantana camara L. var. mutabilis (Hook.) L.H. Bailey
Lantana camara L. var. nivea (Vent.) L.H. Bailey
Lantana camara L. var. sanguinea (Medik.) L.H. Bailey
Lantana tiliifolia auct. non Cham.
Lantana is native to Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela, and Colombia. It has been introduced as an ornamental plant to many other tropical and subtropical areas of the world, where it has become naturalized and, often, invasive. There are many cultivars.
Identification: Plants are evergreen shrubs, 3-4' (91-121 cm) high (rarely up to 6' (1.8 m)) and 12-36" (30-91 cm) around, able to grow higher still by clambering over other plants. Leaves are opposite, 2-5" (5-12 cm) × 1-2" (2.5-5 cm), rough-surfaced, ovate, with crenate edges. Stems and leaves are hairy. When crushed, they emit an unpleasant odor, likened, among other undesirable odors, to cat urine. Flowers form hemispherical umbels 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) in size. Each umbel is composed of flowers that are ¼-⅜" (6.3-9.5 mm) around, 5-petaled, held in neat, crowded, undeniably beautiful arrays. Making them even more attractive is their spectrum of colors, ranging from whites to yellows to pinks to oranges to reds to purples, mixed within even single umbels and changing in color as they age. They bloom from July to first frost, nearly continuously in frost-free areas. Fruits are purple-black drupes (berries), ~³/₁₆" (5-6 mm) in size.
Edibility: Poisonous Foliage is poisonous to people, as well as to grazing animals. It contains alkaloids, called pentacyclic triterpenoids, that cause liver damage and photosensitivity. Berries are edible when ripe; poisonous when unripe.
Lantana camara on FLORIDATA
Lantana camara at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Lantana camara on Florida Nature
Lantana camara on www.carolinanature.com
Lantana camara on Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers
Lantana camara on www.tropical-biology.org
Lantana camara description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 20 Jun 2017.
Range: Zones 10-11: