Friday, August 26, 2011


For year-round bloom power, Lantana (Lantana camera) tops the charts here in central Arizona. No matter how blistering hot or desperately parched the summer weather becomes, Lantana keeps on flowering. When I first ventured into the Phoenix suburbs in 2002, this plant was unknown to me, since I'd always lived in cooler climates. One thing Lantana can't survive is a hard frost. Since then, I've realized that these flamboyant flowering shrubs can be a nuisance in some regions; in Australia and southeastern North America, they bear the loathsome label of "invasive species." And to a serious landscape designer, Lantana is on par with petunias: colorful, yes; but sort of like linoleum or popcorn ceilings. Unsophisticated unless you have a retro-modern or unique creative streak going.

But, I don't get tired of their colors and heartiness. Or the way their name feels on the tongue. Lantana, lantana, lantana!

1 comment:

ezpixels said...

I enjoy reading your posts! Today's reminded me how long I resisted planting Lantana in my yard because I was determined to have a native yard. Then I discovered the joy of butterfly watching and realized I just didn't have enough nectar plants in my yard. The most exciting Lantana memory was a dozen plus Sphinx Moths feeding on my yellow Lantana one evening just as the sun went down. Since then, I've never seen so many in one place at one time.